March 15, 2014
CLEARWATER, Fla. - UConn split its first two games of the Michele Smith Spring Break Tournament with a loss to Central Michigan (15-8) and victory over Wagner (4-10) on day one in Florida. The Huskies rallied from the afternoon loss to Central Michigan to finish strong with a convincing win over Wagner on Friday evening.
Central Michigan 6, UConn 2
In its first game at the USF Michele Smith Spring Break Tournament the Huskies fell to a strong Central Michigan squad by a final score of 6-2. The Huskies took a lead early in the contest straight out of the gates in the first inning. Senior Maddy Schiappa (Bedford, N.H.) started things off with a single for Connecticut and advanced to second on a Taylor Townsend (Yorba Linda, Calif.) ground out. Valerie Sadowl laid a sacrifice bunt that brought home Schiappa from third for the early 1-0 lead over Central Michigan.
The Flying `C' responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the first to even the score at 1-1, but the Huskies fought back to regain the lead off the bat of Alyson Ambler. The sophomore cracked her second homer of the season in the fourth inning to reclaim the UConn lead, 2-1. Once again Central Michigan immediately responded with a pair of runs in the fourth inning to take control of the game, 3-2. Michigan State would go on to add three more runs for the 6-2 cushion in the fifth inning, and the Huskies were unable to close the gap.
Kayla Doty took the loss for the Huskies, falling to 1-3 on the season. Morgan Yunker finished with four strike outs over five innings to earn the win for Central Michigan, improving to 5-0 in her outings this season.
UConn 8, Wagner 2
In the latter game of day one, the UConn offense exploded for a trio of runs in the fourth inning to jump up to a 3-0 lead over the Seahawks. Emily O'Donnell (Niskayuna, N.Y.) started the momentum with a lead-off single up the middle of the infield. Valerie Sadowl (Horsham, Pa.) reached base on a second consecutive UConn single and both runners advanced on a wild pitch to bring up second and third with no outs. With the stage set, Audrey Grinnell (Saco, Maine) stepped up to the plate and slammed a three-run home run to provide Connecticut the safe lead.
Despite allowing a run in the bottom of the fourth, UConn would never relinquish the lead. The Huskies answered with a pair of runs in the sixth inning to push the lead up to 5-1. Alyson Ambler (Walla Walla, Wash.) reached base on an error and advanced to second thanks to a Grinnell single. Both she and Lexi Gifford (Natick, Mass.) scored on errors.
UConn used a three-run seventh inning to put the game on ice. The Huskies posted five hits in the seventh frame and received runs from O'Donnell, Grinnell and Ambler to secure the win and improve to 5-11 on the season.
Both Maddy Schiappa and Lexi Gifford went 3-for-4 from the plate against the Seahawks, while Audrey Grinnell finished with a season-best four RBIs to lead Connecticut. Lauren Duggan improved to 4-6 on the season with the win.
The Huskies will look to continue the momentum as they get back to work early tomorrow morning at 9:30pm against Miami (Ohio). In a big Saturday afternoon matchup, UConn will face No. 12 Baylor at 2:15pm.
For more information, including a complete schedule and streaming video links, click here to see the tournament home page.