BATON ROUGE, La. – The University of Connecticut softball team opened up its 2016 season with a split against Pacific and North Florida on Friday, Feb. 12 on Day One of the LSU Tiger Classic in Baton Rouge, La. The Huskies were setback, 3-0, to the Tigers in game one before besting the Ospreys, 3-0, in the evening.
Game One Recap – vs. Pacific
Junior RHP Kayla Doty went 6.2 strong innings in her season debut, allowing a single unearned run, on four hits and a strikeout. Sophomore RHP Chelsea Eckert took the loss after pitching 0.1 innings to start the game.
The Tigers struck quickly to get the action started in the first inning. With the bases loaded, Rachel Sellers earned the walk that sent Sara Anderson across home plate. Next up, Sydney Lahners delivered the sac fly, scoring Toni Santos and giving the home team a 2-0 advantage.
UConn threatened in the second, putting a pair of runners on base after Jacklyn Dubois singled up the middle and Taylor Townsend showed great patience at the plate to earn a walk. Alyssa Gardea came through with a single to the right side to load the bases but Pacific’s Cassidy Gustafon was able to work her way out of the jam on a fielder’s choice.
Pacific added to its lead in the fifth on a fielding error by the Huskies for Haylee Moran-Rowen to post an unearned run. The Huskies tried to rebound in the sixth behind a double to left center from Dominique Pinto but it wasn’t enough as UConn fell, 3-0.
Five different Huskies recorded a hit in the setback, including rookie Kelli Bates, who singled twice to get on base. Dubois also had two hits in the outing.
Game Two Recap – vs. North Florida
Rookie RHP Jill Stockley picked up her first career start and win in a Husky uniform with a 7.0 inning, four-hit, three-strikeout, two-walk performance.
With two on, Dubois put UConn on the board in the third inning, laying down a single to the shortstop to score Lexi Gifford and record the Huskies first RBI of the season.
The fourth and fifth innings were tough for the Ospreys and Huskies, with both teams struggling to get their offensive attack going.
Connecticut broke the game open in the top of the sixth. Townsend threaded a double through the center with two outs. Next at the plate, Gardea stepped up and smashed the ball over the left field fence for her sixth career home run, giving UConn its decisive 3-0 lead.
Once again, the Huskies had five different players that connected to tally at least one hit.
UConn returns to the diamond on Saturday, Feb. 13 for matchups against Ohio State at 10:30 a.m. ET and tournament host No. 3 LSU at 6 p.m. ET. The second game will be streamed live on ESPN3.