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BOCA RATON, Fla. - It's only six games into the season for UConn softball, but one thing looks certain for the Huskies - they have found a reliable late-game pitcher.
Freshman Katie Koshes made two appearances on Friday in the FAU Tournament, and despite UConn losses to No. 22 Kentucky and Florida Atlantic, the first-year hurler continued to deal in the circle.
She recorded 1.2 innings of scoreless work on the first day of the tournament, shrinking her season ERA to 1.05. Koshes has thrown 6.2 innings in five appearances this season, with a team-high 11 strikeouts and just two walks.
The Huskies (2-4) faced formidable opponents in the top-25 ranked Wildcats and FAU, a team receiving votes in the latest ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll.
Senior Taylor Townsend extended her hitting streak to six games, as she has recorded a hit in each contest. She and freshman Carli Cutler had an RBI in the first game of the day against Kentucky.
Game 1 - No. 22 Kentucky 4, UConn 2
In the top of the fifth inning, the Huskies trailed 3-2 with runners on second and third, two outs. Sophomore Kelli Bates had a chance to give UConn a late lead over the No. 22 Wildcats, but a strikeout ended the threat.
UConn was within two stranded base runners of overtaking, and perhaps beating, a top-25 ranked opponent. However, Kentucky managed just enough offense against Stockley (1-2) to earn a victory.
Stockley allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits over 5.1 innings of work in her third start of the season, recording a three-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio. Koshes had a short relief outing of 0.2 innings in the loss.
After the first inning, the Huskies held a 1-0 lead after an RBI single from freshman Carli Cutler. She knocked in Townsend, who reached base for the fifth-straight game at the time.
Kentucky tied the game in the second frame on an RBI single, then tacked on two more in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead after a throwing error by senior Valerie Sadowl aided the Wildcats' offense.
UConn had its best chance in the fifth, loading the bases with just one out. Townsend recorded an RBI groundout to third base, cutting the deficit to 3-2. Bates then struck-out against reliever Meagan Prince, leaving two in scoring position.
Cutler, Townsend and freshman Ashlee Dahman each recorded a hit for the Huskies, who left four runners on base throughout the game.
Game 2 - FAU 5, UConn 0
Cutler earned her second start of the season against the Owls on Friday and fell victim to two costly errors and a lack of run support in her outing. UConn had just two hits against FAU pitcher, Amanda Wilson.
In five innings of work, Cutler allowed four runs (all unearned) on six hits while striking out three. Koshes and junior Chelsea Eckert each pitched an inning of relief, as the Huskies dropped game two of the doubleheader.
The Owls scored three times in the third inning following a two-out error by first baseman Emma Stanley. Two RBI hits gave FAU a three-run advantage.
In the fifth inning, the Owls scored on a throwing error by freshman Kiwi McDaniel - making it 4-0 - and it was the last inning Cutler (0-2) would pitch. Koshes pitched a scoreless sixth, while Eckert surrendered a solo home run in the seventh.
Townsend and McDaniel each had a hit for the Huskies, who stranded five runners. With runners on base, UConn batters were 0-for-7 at the plate.
The FAU Tournament rolls on Saturday, as the Huskies play another doubleheader against Florida A&M (9 a.m.) and Arkansas (11:15 a.m.).