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HONOLULU, Hawaii – In the final game of the Rainbow Wahine Classic, it was freshman Carissa Brizzi with arguably the best performance of the tournament for the UConn softball team in a 5-4 win over Harvard in eight innings.
Brizzi went 3-for-4, her first-career multi-hit game, including a two-out RBI single in the seventh inning to tie the game for the Huskies (9-14). In the eighth, it was junior Ryne Nakama’s RBI sacrifice fly that gave UConn a 5-4 lead.
Sophomore Jill Stockley (3-6) picked up the win for the Huskies, allowing one run on two hits in 3.2 innings of relief for freshman Katie Koshes. Koshes struck-out six batters in 4.1 innings in the circle.
After losing a 3-0 lead and trailing Harvard by a run in the last inning, freshman Carli Cutler had a lead-off walk and advanced to second on a groundball from freshman Kiwi McDaniel. Two batters later, Brizzi smacked a two-out single to plate Cutler.
Following Brizzi’s clutch hit, the Huskies scored in the top half of the eighth when Nakama hit a sac fly to left field – recording her first RBI of the season. Stockley then shut the door in the bottom of the eighth to hang on.
Seven different Huskies had hits in the game, as UConn batters went 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position – strengthening a deficiency the team had the past few games in Hawaii.
The Huskies struck first in the third inning, as RBI hits by redshirt senior Valerie Sadowl and freshman Ashlee Dahman gave UConn a 3-0 lead. McDaniel also scored in the frame on a throwing error by Harvard catcher Nicki Nishizawa.
Over the next three innings, the Crimson tied the game and then took the lead. Koshes was knocked out in the fifth inning, which is when Stockley took over and limited the damage – stranding two Harvard runners on base.
Harvard took the lead in the sixth on an RBI single off Stockley, putting the Huskies behind with just one inning left. Brizzi’s clutch hit extended the game for UConn and eventually led to the snapping of its four-game losing skid.
UConn ends the Rainbow Wahine Classic with a 3-4 record and finished its 10-day trip to California and Hawaii with a 4-7 mark.
Depending on field conditions due to snow, the Huskies are scheduled to have their home opener at the Burrill Family Field on Wednesday against UMass-Lowell. First pitch is at 3 p.m. (ET).
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