— UConn Softball (@UConnSoftball) February 22, 2015
TROY, Ala. - On a wild Sunday morning in Troy, Ala., the University of Connecticut softball team walked off with an 8-7 win against Northern Illinois in its final game of the 2015 Trojan Invitational. The Huskies improve to 3-2 this season, while NIU drops to 4-6.
Senior RHP Lauren Duggan took the ball for her second start of the season and lasted 3.1 innings, surrendering two unearned runs on four hits to go along with a walk and four strikeouts. Kayla Doty (2-0) picked up the win in relief, going the final 4.2 innings and allowing five runs (one earned) on just three hits with five walks and four strikeouts. NIU's Jessica Sturm (3-3) was tagged with the loss after giving up seven runs on four hits in 5.1 innings.
The Illinois-based Huskies struck first, picking up a pair of unearned runs in the second inning, highlighted by an RBI double from Sturm.
Doty came on in relief in the fourth inning and worked out of a bases-loaded one-out jam to keep the deficit at two. NIU added a run in the fifth when Kayti Grable blasted a homerun over the left field wall to push the score to 3-0.
The Huskies responded with a five-run fifth inning, highlighted by a pair of homeruns. Jacklyn Dubois got things started with a single through the left side and advanced to third when Dominique Pinto reached on an error. Alyson Ambler knotted the game up with one swing when she connected on her team-leading second long ball of the year on the first pitch of her second at-bat. Heather Fyfe reached on a walk and Alyssa Gardea delivered a two-run home run to straight-away center to give UConn a 5-3 lead.
Connecticut added a run in the sixth when Ambler singled up the middle, scoring Dubois, to pick up her fourth RBI of the afternoon. NIU rallied in the seventh inning, scoring four unearned runs to re-take a 7-6 lead before Emily O'Donnell connected on a clutch two-out single to left center to score Ryne Nakama and knot it up at seven.
Doty held NIU scoreless in the top of the eighth before Dubois scampered home on a wild pitch to secure the Husky victory, 8-7.
In the win, Dubois extended her team-best hitting streak to five-straight games, while Ambler reached base three times, finishing 2-for-3 with a homer, four RBI and a run.
The squad returns to the diamond next weekend as part of the Wilson/DeMarini Tournament in Auburn, Ala. The Huskies kick off the five-game weekend with a tilt against SIUE on Friday, Feb. 27 at 11 a.m. ET.