March 16, 2014
CLEARWATER, Fla. - An extra inning of softball proved fatal for UConn in its final game at the USF Spring Break Tournament against Green Bay, 3-1. The Phoenix improved to 12-2 on the season while the Huskies dropped to 5-14 in the heartbreaking extra-frame loss.
UConn threatened to break onto the scoreboard with the bases loaded and one out in the second inning. Alyson Ambler drew a leadoff walk to reach base before back-to-back singles by Valerie Sadowl and Lexi Gifford filled the bases. An infield hit by Alyssa Gardea saw Ambler thrown out at home and Maddy Schiappa grounded out to second base to end the inning.
Green Bay took hold of the lead with a run in the top of the fourth inning on a bases loaded scenario of its own. A pair of walks and a single filled the bases, and an RBI walk to Tia Collins produced the Phoenix's lone run in regulation innings. Freshman pitcher Kayla Doty came in to relieve starting pitcher Lauren Duggan. The rookie worked out of the jam without relinquishing another run and would go on to match her career high with five strikeouts over the final five innings of work.
With time running out, the Huskies posted a comeback in the bottom of the seventh inning that nearly saw them earn the walk-off win. A Maddy Schiappa single with one out began the UConn rally, followed by Taylor Townsend reaching base on a second baseman error. The error advanced Schiappa to third, which would prove crucial when Emily O'Donnell hit a long sacrifice fly to left field that easily scored Schiappa. Townsend was able to tag up and reach second base on the play, advancing to third on a wild throw attempt in the play at second. With two outs and the winning run on third, Audrey Grinnell dug into the batter's box and crushed a long ball to centerfield. Green Bay's Miranda Reinke tracked the ball and made the dramatic catch at the fence to rob Grinnell of a game-winning RBI.
With the score deadlocked at 1-1, the two teams required an extra inning to decide a winner. In the international-style format, a runner was automatically placed on second base. Green Bay's Marissa Michalkiewicz roped a double to centerfield that scored Mohrfeld from second. A subsequent RBI single by Stacey Butts brought Michalkiewicz around to score from second base and provided a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. Ashley LaPenta pinch-ran for Grinnell, but the Huskies were unable to bring the runner home.
Doty finished with the loss in a valiant effort on the mound for the Huskies, allowing just two runs and three hits over 5.0 innings. Duggan allowed two hits and a run in 3.0 innings of work. Green bay's Ashley Nannemann tossed the complete game win for the Phoenix, allowing seven hits and one run in a full 8.0 innings of action.
The Huskies will look to get back in the win column on Tuesday, when they take on Florida Gulf Coast in a doubleheader in For Myers, FL. The first game of the matchup is set to start at 5:00pm ET.