Feb. 22, 2014
CLEARWATER, Fla. – A fifth-inning rally proved fatal for the University of Connecticut softball team, as the squad fell to UMass by a final score of 8-7 on Saturday night in Florida. The loss drops the Huskies to 0-4 on the season while the Minutemen improve to 1-3 on the season. Connecticut wraps up play at the NFCA Lead-Off Classic tomorrow afternoon against Illinois State.
UConn posted a season-high seven hits in the effort , with Valerie Sadowl (Horsham, Pa.) leading all Connecticut batters with a 3-for-3 evening from the plate. Rookie catcher Dominique Pinto recorded her first RBI’s in Husky uniform, logging a pair to lead the Huskies’ offense.
UMass earned a two-hit first inning off of Kayla Doty (Ghent, N.Y.) and capitalized on one to surge ahead with an early lead, but the Huskies responded promptly in the second inning thanks to Emily O’Donnell’s (Niskayuna, N.Y.) second career triple in the bottom of the first inning. Valerie Sadowl’s (Horsham, Pa.) sacrifice fly out scored O’Donnell to deadlock the score at one run apiece.
The Minutemen again responded with a run to push ahead, 2-1, in the second inning, but the Huskies used a big third inning to take a 4-2 edge over UMass in the bottom of the third. Sadowl offerded up a one-out single to left to get on base and advanced to second thanks to a wild pitch and scored on a subsequent throwing error. Jacklyn Dubois (Mt. Vernon, N.H.) continued the momentum by reaching base on an error by the Minutemen’s right fielder, reaching third on a single by Audrey Grinnell (Saco, Maine). A single by Pinto earned the freshman her first runs batted in as a Husky, as Dubois and Grinnell came around to score on the play.
UMass charged back with four runs in the fourth inning to reestablish its lead at 6-4, at which point Lauren Duggan (Norwood, Mass.) took over for Doty on the Connecticut mound. Connecticut rallied in the fifth to tip the scoreboard in its favor once again in the fifth inning, scoring three runs for the 7-6 advantage. Sadowl lead off the inning with a double to left centerfield, working the Minutemen to load the bases with one out. A wild pitch score Alyson Ambler (Walla Walla, Wash.) to reclaim the lead. Lexi Gifford (Natick, Mass.) reached base on a fielder’s choice to score Dubois from third and pinch runner Ashley LaPenta (Bristol, Conn.) tallied a run on a wild pitch for the Huskies.
A pair of late runs in the sixth inning for the Minutemen proved too much for the Huskies, as UMass jumped ahead 8-7 and Connecticut left Gifford stranded on base in a last effort attempt in the bottom of the seventh inning.
UConn closes out the NFCA Lead-Off Classic against Illinois State tomorrow morning at 11am ET. The Redbirds are 4-9 overall and 1-3 at the Lead-Off Classic, falling to Louisiana-Lafaytte and USF on Friday, before defeating James Madison and falling to Hofstra on Saturday.