SAN DIEGO - The University of Connecticut softball team opened play at the 2015 San Diego Classic II with a split against UNLV and Utah Valley on Friday, March 13 at the Sportsplex USA field in San Diego, Calif. The Huskies picked up their seventh win of the year with a 3-2 victory over UNLV at noon before dropping a tightly-contest 4-3 decision to Utah Valley in game two. The Huskies now stand at 7-10 this season and will take on BYU and New Mexico St. on Saturday.
Game One - vs. UNLV
Lauren Duggan (5-4) notched her team-leading fifth win of the year with a complete-game gem, tossing 7.0 innings of five-hit ball. The senior RHP allowed just two runs to go along with a pair of strikeouts. Janine Petmecky (0-1) took the loss after surrendering all three Husky runs in 3.0 innings of work.
UConn junior SS Lexi Gifford (Natick, Mass.) scored the go-ahead run for the Huskies in the second inning after starting the frame out with a double down the right field line. Junior OIF Alyssa Gardea (Corona, Calif.) singled in the next at-bat to advance Gifford to third before the shortstop successfully stole home to make it 3-2 Huskies.
UConn allowed just three hits over the final five innings.
Duggan and junior catcher Jacklyn Dubois (Mt. Vernon, N.H.) both provided RBIs for the Huskies in the first inning. Dubois brought home sophomore Taylor Townsend on a fielder's choice, while Duggan drew a walk with the bases loaded to score Emily O'Donnell (Niskayuna, N.Y.).
The game marked the fifth time the Huskies have plated at least one run in the first inning. The team owns a 4-1 record in such contests.
Game Two - vs. Utah Valley
Freshman righty Chelsea Eckert (0-3) was the hard-luck loser in the nightcap, tossing 6.0 innings and allowing four runs on seven hits to go along with two walks and six strikeouts. The RHP entered the game with the conference's sixth-best strikeout per seven inning rate (6.9). Bailey Moore (7-7) earned her team-leading seventh win of the season with a complete-game, three-run performance.
Utah Valley did most of its damage in the third inning, pushing across the game's first three runs after collecting five hits, highlighted by a leadoff homer from Dynasty Lauvai.
Connecticut got on the board in the fifth, pushing across a run when senior 3B Emily O'Donnell singled to right field to plate Gifford. The Huskies scratched two more across in the sixth after stringing together two hits and taking advantage of a Wolverine error.
The team got the tying run to third base in the seventh but couldn't drive her in after Moore induced a game-ending ground ball.
The Huskies now stand at 12-13 all-time when playing in the state of California.
UConn will return to the diamond the tournament's second day of action starting with a 2:30 p.m. ET tilt with BYU. Following its contest with the Cougars, the team will take on New Mexico St. at 7:30 p.m. ET.