ATLANTA, Ga. - Freshman infielder Briana Marcelino extended her hitting streak to a team-high seven games on Saturday, but the UConn softball team struggled to punch runs across in a doubleheader sweep by Georgia Tech in the I-75 Challenge.
The Huskies (7-11) were blanked in the first game, 5-0, and lost a narrow 3-2 decision in the second contest at Mewborn Field. Marcelino, a native of Easton, Conn., finished the day going 3-for-6 at the plate with a run scored.
All five pitchers on the staff made appearances against the Yellow Jackets, including sophomore Carli Cutler, who made her debut in the circle in the first game on Saturday. She threw 1.1 scoreless innings in relief of senior Chelsea Eckert.
Sophomore catcher Devon Casazza came up with the highlight of the day for UConn, smacking a two-run double in the sixth inning of game two to cut Georgia Tech's lead to just 3-2 at the time.
UConn finishes up the I-75 Challenge on Sunday when it faces Kennesaw State at Bailey Park. First pitch is at noon against the Owls, as the Huskies look to snap a five-game losing skid.
Game 1 - Georgia Tech 5, UConn 0
Briana Marcelino provided the only hit of the game for UConn off Georgia Tech pitcher Emily Anderson, as the Huskies left five runners on base in a 5-0 loss to the Yellow Jackets at the start of Saturday's action.
Sophomore pitcher Katie Koshes (1-3) picked up the loss in the circle, allowing three runs on four hits in 1.2 innings of work. Chelsea Eckert hurled three innings in relief of Koshes, surrendering two runs on three hits with a pair of strikeouts.
Facing a 1-0 deficit after the first inning, UConn responded in the second by loading the bases with two outs. Marcelino reached on a fielding error and sophomore Kiwi McDaniel reached on a throwing error, soon followed by a walk from freshman Reese Guevarra. Freshman Maura Glatczak and senior Ryne Nakama both fouled out to end the inning, however, keeping the 1-0 score.
Anderson struck-out six and walked only two in her complete-game win for the Jackets. Carli Cutler made her season debut on the mound for the Huskies, pitching a solid 1.1 innings to limit the damage.
Georgia Tech put up three runs in the first two innings - including one on a wild pitch by Eckert in the second. Katie Krzus recorded an RBI single in the fourth, while Kaylee Ellebracht homered in the fifth to add to the scoring.
-- Daniel Connolly (@DanielVConnolly) March 3, 2018
Game 2 - Georgia Tech 3, UConn 2
Trailing 3-0 in the sixth inning, Devon Casazza cut into the lead with a two-RBI double, but the Huskies came up one run short in a 3-2 loss to Georgia Tech. Freshman Marybeth Olson (3-4) picked up the loss in the circle for UConn.
Briana Marcelino went 2-for-3 with a run scored, continuing her impressive showing on Saturday, but the Huskies stranded four runners throughout the game - including runners in scoring position in the first and fifth innings.
It wasn't until the third inning that the Jackets scored on Olson, as Cameron Stanford homered to make it 1-0. In the fifth, Georgia Tech added two more runs on a solo shot from Draven Sonnon and a wild pitch.
Down by three in the sixth, the Huskies pieced together a two-out rally with redshirt freshman Olivia Sappington on first base. Marcelino singled, putting runners on first and second, before Casazza blasted her double to right-center - plating both and making it 3-2.
A quiet seventh inning saw the Huskies retired in order, ending the game despite another strong comeback attempt by UConn on the second day of the I-75 Challenge.
Olson allowed two runs on five hits in 4.1 innings of work, while junior pitcher Jill Stockley struck-out four hitters in 1.2 innings of relief against the Jackets.
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