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HONOLULU, Hawaii – Four different players posted multi-hit days in Wednesday’s doubleheader, but the UConn softball team struggled to score in two losses to Purdue and Marist in the Rainbow Wahine Classic.
Freshmen Carli Cutler and Chloe Kerns both had RBI hits for the Huskies (8-12), but UConn was a combined 4-of-21 (.190) with runners in scoring position on its second day of competition in Hawaii.
Cutler, who started game one in the circle, and sophomore Kelli Bates both have team-high three-game hitting streaks after Wednesday’s games. Senior Taylor Townsend has reached base in four straight games.
Game 1 – Purdue 6, UConn 1
Three errors plagued the Huskies in a 6-1 loss to Purdue in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. UConn had seven hits, but stranded eight runners on base – including the bases loaded in the final inning.
Kerns smacked an RBI single in the first inning to put the Huskies ahead, 1-0, but that was all the offense UConn managed against Purdue starter Kaitlynn Moody.
Cutler (1-4) picked up the loss in her sixth start of the season, allowing six runs (five earned) on eight hits in 5.1 innings in the circle. She recorded three strikeouts and walked just one.
Six different Huskies had a hit in the game, with Kerns leading the way with her 2-for-2 performance. She picked up her fifth RBI of the season when she knocked in Bates in the first.
Purdue struck back quickly in the first inning, scoring on an error by freshman Kiwi McDaniel at shortstop. Two more errors by McDaniel in the third inning led to another Purdue run, as the Huskies faced a 2-1 deficit.
In the final four innings, UConn left seven runners on base – including two in the fourth and three in the seventh. Purdue’s Alexa Binckes gave the Boilermakers insurance with a two-run home run off Cutler in the fifth, making it 4-1.
Two more runs off Cutler in the sixth put the game out of reach, despite the Huskies loading the bases in the seventh. Moody allowed one run on seven hits in the complete-game victory.
Game 2 – Marist 2, UConn 1
Missed opportunities haunted the Huskies in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader, as they fell 2-1 to Marist despite late-game situations with runners in scoring position.
Sophomore Jill Stockley (2-6) picked up the loss after a solid 3.2 relief innings, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out four. She relieved junior Chelsea Eckert, who went 3.1 innings in her second start of the season.
Trailing 2-0 in the sixth, Kerns was hit by a pitch and redshirt senior Valerie Sadowl singled, putting runners on first and second for the Huskies. Cutler then smacked a double down the right field line, scoring Kerns and cutting the lead in half. It was Cutler’s eighth RBI of the season.
With Cutler on second and Sadowl on third, freshmen Carissa Brizzi and McDaniel were unable to punch any runs across – ending the frame with UConn still trailing.
One more opportunity arose in the seventh, as the Huskies looked to tack on one more run off Marist pitcher Jessica Van Alphen. Freshman Ashlee Dahman reached third base, but Townsend and Bates lined out and grounded out, respectively, to end the game.
Van Alphen allowed one run on six hits in her complete-game win, striking out five with no walks. The Huskies were just 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, proving to be the difference in the game.
Six different UConn players had a hit in the game, including a double by Brizzi in her first-career college start.
COMING UP NEXT
UConn gets a rematch with Hawaii early Friday morning at 1 a.m. (ET), before a matchup with Marist that night at 9 p.m. (ET).
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