MYERS, Fla. – Redshirt freshman Olivia Sappington had the best day of her short career on Friday, as she went 5-for-6 at the plate with a home run, double, two RBI and nine total bases, but the UConn softball team was swept in doubleheader action in the FGCU/Four Points by Sheraton Invitational.
The Huskies (5-6) lost a nail-biting 5-4 game to Southern Illinois in 10 innings, before an 8-3 loss to host Florida Gulf Coast in the nightcap. Freshman Marybeth Olson (2-2) and sophomore Katie Koshes (1-2) earned the losses in the circle.
Five players had multiple hits for UConn, while freshman Maura Glatczak hit her first collegiate home run in the second game against the Eagles. It was one of five extra-base hits for the Huskies on Friday.
Saturday’s doubleheader with Wright State (10 a.m.) and Stony Brook (12:15 p.m.) marks the second day of the FGCU Tournament, which runs until Sunday for UConn.
Game 1 – Southern Illinois 5, UConn 4 (F/10)
Sappington, who celebrated her birthday on Friday, reached base four times against the Salukis, but it was a pair of 10th-inning runs off Olson that put the game out of reach for the Huskies in the tournament opener.
As the home team, UConn had several chances to walk-off with a victory, especially under extra-inning tournament rules where a runner is placed on second base. However, it wasn’t until a 5-3 hole that the Huskies punched a run across under that rule set, but it wasn’t enough.
Olson pitched a strong 5.2 innings in relief of starter Jill Stockley, who went 4.1 frames and struck-out four while allowing three runs (two earned). Jenn Janson hit an RBI double off Olson in the 10th, helping Southern Illinois get its two-run lead.
Trailing 3-2 in the fifth, UConn tied the game with a clutch RBI single from Sappington, which scored freshman Hollis Wivell. The Huskies scored their first two runs in the second inning on a fielding error by the Salukis, allowing Sappington and sophomore Carli Cutler to score.
Olson struck-out eight batters in her relief outing, combining with Stockley to strand nine base runners throughout the game. The problem was that UConn left 13 runners on base, failing to capitalize on scoring opportunities.
MID 6: Glatczak with a pinch-hit solo home run! Huskies down by three as we head to the bottom of the 6th inning. pic.twitter.com/80yGl8eKyo
— UConn Softball (@UConnSoftball) February 24, 2018
Game 2 – FGCU 8, UConn 3
Maura Glatczak hit her first-career home run in the second game on Friday, but FGCU’s offense proved to be too much in the 8-3 loss, ending the opening day of the tournament with a doubleheader sweep of UConn.
Sappington once again was unstoppable at the plate, going 3-for-3 with an RBI and run scored out of the leadoff spot in the order. Sophomore Devon Casazza added an RBI single of her own, scoring Wivell.
Despite Sappington giving UConn the earliest of 1-0 leads with a homer in the first at-bat of the game, FGCU responded with a five-run second inning – with four runs charged to starter Katie Koshes, resulting in the entry of senior pitcher Chelsea Eckert.
UConn fought back to a 6-3 deficit following the blast from Glatczak, but a two-RBI single in the sixth for FGCU sealed the game. Wivell recorded her first-career hit in the loss.
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