COLUMBIA, S.C. – Despite connecting on seven hits, the University of Connecticut softball team lost, 5-4, in 10 innings to Gamecock Invitational host South Carolina on Saturday. The loss put the Huskies at 3-13 overall, while the Gamecocks moved up to 17-2.
Freshman RHP Jill Stockley (3-5) took the loss after coming in for sophomore Chelsea Eckert. She was tagged for two runs on five hits in her 5.0 innings of work. South Carolina ace Nickie Blue (6-2) got the win with a 6.0-inning, four-hit, one-run effort.
UConn struck first in the top of the third inning after Jacklyn Dubois scored on throwing error by catcher Jordyn Augustus.
South Carolina responded with a double by Kennedy Clark to put two runs on the board for a slight 2-1 edge. Eckert limited the damage by closing the third with a strikeout.
The Huskies took their time on offense in the fourth as Alyssa Gardea, Kelli Bates and Taylor Townsend each made a full count work in their favor, earning walks to stack the bases with one out. Alyson Ambler stepped up and delivered a single to left field to get Gardea in and tie the game at 2-2. With the bases still loaded and two outs, Kate Sims showed tremendous patience at the plate to get the walk and send Bates home, giving UConn a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Clark looped another double to right center for the Gamecocks to knot the score at 3.
After the fifth, neither team could muster much offense and forced the game into extra innings. The Huskies broke through in the top of the ninth, starting with Dominique Pinto advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt from Ambler. Sims reached on a fielding error, which allowed Pinto to scamper home and put the Huskies up 4-3. However, the Gamecocks also picked up a run on a ground out to lock the score at 4-4.
Kaylea Snear came through for South Carolina in the bottom of the 10th with an RBI single for a 5-4 victory.
The Huskies continue play in the Gamecock Invitational on Sunday, March 6 against Michigan State at 10 a.m. UConn will conclude its stay in South Carolina with a 12:30 p.m. matchup based on the standings after tomorrow’s first outing.
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