SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The University of Connecticut softball team fell twice on opening day of the SCU Invitational in Santa Clara, Calif. The Huskies dropped an 8-7 decision to Nevada-Reno to start the tournament before being setback, 7-0, by Illinois-Chicago.
Game One - vs. Nevada-Reno
Freshman RHP Jill Stockley (3-3) got the first start of the weekend in the morning's first game and lasted 4.0 innings, giving up six runs (three earned) on nine hits in the loss. Brooke Bolinger got the win in a 4.0 inning, seven-hit, five-run effort for the Wolf Pack.
The Wolf Pack started the scoring in the top of the second, grabbing two runs on two hits and taking advantage of an error by catcher Jacklyn Dubois. Jennifer Purcell pushed across Nevada's first run with a double to left center before Amanda Nicholas scampered home on a single to left field.
The Huskies cut into Nevada's lead in the bottom of second inning, scoring its first run of the afternoon after Kate Sims reached on an error by the third baseman to score Ally Hernandez. Junior Taylor Townsend delivered a single through the gap to send Lexi Gifford and Sims across and knot the game up at three.
UConn kept the runs coming after Alyson Ambler singled to left field and advanced to second on the throw while scoring Gifford. Alyssa Gardea followed up with a single through the center to load the bases with one out. Dubois took advantage with a single to left field to get Nakama in for a 5-3 lead.
Nevada answered with five runs on four hits in the top of the fifth to regain an 8-5 lead behind a solo homer and grand slam.
Connecticut tried to close the gap again after Gardea grounded out with runners in scoring positon to plate Ambler. Dubois came behind her and brought Townsend home, pulling the Huskies with one. UConn couldn't complete the comeback in the seventh and fell, 8-7.
Game Two - vs. Illinois-Chicago
Sophomore Chelsea Eckert (0-5) went 1.1 innings for the Huskies in the second game of the tournament, allowing four runs and five walks.
UIC kicked off the first inning with a single from Tiana Mack-Miller to put one on the board. The Flames manufactured five runs in the top of the second, featuring RBI singles from Laura Swan, Dana Capocci and Mack-Miller. The team also brought in two runs off bases loaded walks to take a 6-0 lead.
The Huskies threatened in the bottom of the fourth when Dominique Pinto singled to left field, advancing Gardea to third, who tried to make it home but was thrown out.
The Flames added another run on their fifth RBI single of the day, courtesy of Lexi Watts for a decisive 7-0 advantage.
UConn is now 0-4 all-time against UIC.
The Huskies are back in action with a 1 p.m. ET rematch with Nevada and a 5:30 p.m. contest with host Santa Clara.
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