NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Despite a tough showing, anchored with strong pitching by sophomore Alicia Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.), Belmont Softball was narrowly held off on day two of the Belmont Invitational. The Bruins (13-8) were edged by Illinois Chicago (7-13), 1-0, on Saturday afternoon.
In the top of the opening frame, a bunt and a sacrifice fly would be enough for the Flames to get a run over the plate and take an early 1-0 lead. Stunningly, despite advancing runners into scoring position numerous times over the waning innings, BU was unable to get a runner home.
The Bruins' best opportunity to score came in the latter half of the third inning. Senior Cameryn Strother (Chesapeake, Va.) reached first on four balls and advanced to second base behind a well-placed bunt by classmate Taylor Hargrove (Greenbrier, Tenn.). The speedy pair notched a double steal to get into scoring position but the remainder of the Belmont batters were unable to send them home. UIC was able to hold on for the 1-0 victory down the stretch.
Veltri shined inside the circle, fanning 10 batters as she tossed the entire seven innings.
BU returns to action on Sunday for the final day of the Belmont Invitational. The Bruins host Illinois Chicago at 9 a.m. before taking on Purdue Fort Wayne in the game of the tournament at 1:30 p.m. Live stats will be available for both contests. The game against Purdue Fort Wayne can be live on ESPN+.