March 10, 2014
ROCK HILL, SC – UConn softball improved its record at the Winthrop Adidas Invitational in Rock Hill, SC this weekend. Rain delays altered the schedule for the weekend, eliminating Connecticut’s game against host Winthrop State. The Huskies posted wins over Eastern Kentucky and Wright State before falling to Norfolk State.
UConn 3, Eastern Kentucky 2 (8)
The Huskies scored three runs on five hits to best Eastern Kentucky and earn junior pitcher Lauren Duggan (Norwood, Mass.) her second win of the season after pitching the full eight game including the extra frame. The junior tossed five strikeouts in the contest and allowed just two hits.
Eastern Kentucky opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning when a single scored EKU’s first run. UConn responded in the fourth inning with a pair of runs to surge ahead thanks to an Alyson Ambler (Walla Walla, Wash.) two run shot that cleared the fence in left centerfield.
Eastern Kentucky posted a last chance rally to knot the game at two runs apiece in the bottom of the seventh inning when Kayla Joyce belted a solo home run.
The Huskies posted a run in the top of the eighth inning to regain the lead at 3-2. Alyssa Gardea (Corona, Calif.) reached base and advanced to third on an Emily O’Donnell (Niskayuna, N.Y.) sacrifice bunt. Taylor Townsend’s (Yorba Linda, Calif.) sacrifice fly out to center field scored Gardea for the go ahead run. Eastern Kentucky’s leadoff batter reached base in the bottom of the eighth inning and advanced as far as third, but Duggan held tough and earned three consecutive outs to strand the runner and clinch the victory for UConn.
UConn 2, Norfolk State 7
The Norfolk State offense proved too much for the Huskies to handle, as the Spartans out-hit UConn 11-2 in the loss. Connecticut broke onto the scoreboard after a leadoff walk to Emily O’Donnell put a runner on base for Lexi Gifford (Natick, Mass.) to bring home on a single up the middle. Freshman pitcher Kayla Doty (Ghent, N.Y.) held the Spartans off the board for the first three innings to help UConn build a 2-0 lead but a Norfolk State run in the fourth inning cut the deficit in advantage in half.
Norfolk tacked on three more runs in the fifth inning thanks in part to a two-run homerun by Whitney Williams. In Another three-run surge in the sixth inning, Norfolk State received a two-run homer by Alina Moriarity to jump ahead 7-2.
Statistics from the Wright State and Youngstown State games are still being processed.
The Huskies will head to Clearwater, Fla. for the Michelle Smith Spring Break Tournament next weekend on March 14. Play begins with a contest against Central Michigan at 4:30pm followed by a matchup against Wagner at 6:45pm.