AUBURN, Ala. - The University of Connecticut softball team kicked off play in the Wilson/DeMarini Tournament in Auburn, Ala. with a split against SIUE and Ohio State on Friday at Jane B. Moore Field. The Huskies topped the Cougars, 2-1, in a tightly-contest game one, before falling, 5-1, to the Buckeyes in the nightcap. UConn now stands at 4-3 in 2015.
Game One - vs. SIUE
Senior RHP Lauren Duggan took the ball for the Huskies in the opener and picked up her second complete game win of the season with a 7.0 inning, three-hit, one-run performance. SIUE's Haley Chambers, who entered the game with five wins and a stellar 0.93 ERA, took the loss after allowing both Husky runs on eight hits with a pair of walks over 7.0 innings.
The Cougars struck first in the home half of the opening frame, grabbing a run on a bases-loaded illegal pitch. The Huskies answered quickly in the second, pushing across their first run when Duggan ripped an RBI single up the middle that scored Ambler and knotted the game up at one.
The game stay tied until the top of the fifth when UConn picked up a run after Taylor Townsend and Emily O'Donnell ripped back-to-back doubles. For O'Donnell, the two-bagger marked her team-leading fourth extra-base hit of the season.
In the win, the team picked up its eighth steal in eight tries. Last season, the Huskies swiped 23 bases in 51 games. The team also earned its first three-game win streak since April 17-21, 2013 when the squad won five in-a-row.
The game marked the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
Game Two - vs. Ohio State
In the fourth-ever match-up between the two programs, Olivia O'Reilly shined, picking up a complete game win after tossing 7.0 innings and allowing just three hits to go along with five strikeouts. Sophomore Kayla Doty (2-2) was charged with the loss after allowing all five Buckeye runs (three earned) in 6.0 innings of work.
The Buckeyes grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third inning, capitalizing on home runs from Caitlin Conrad and Maddy McIntyre. Ohio extended its lead to four in the home half of the fourth inning, taking advantage of error. McIntyre grabbed her second RBI of the afternoon with a two-out single before Kellia Nestor poked a ball through the right side that plated a run.
Alyssa Gardea notched the Huskies' first hit of the game in the bottom of the sixth when she singled up the middle but UConn could not advance her past first base. The squad threatened in the seventh, loading the bases with no one out. Alyson Ambler got the Huskies on the board with an RBI ground-out but O'Reilly was able to work out of further trouble and seal the 5-1 Buckeye win.
Jacklyn Dubois extended her team-best hit streak to seven-straight in the setback.
The Huskies return to the diamond on Saturday, Feb. 28 for a double-header against Texas State. First pitch of game one is set for 11 a.m. ET.