STOCKTON, Calif. - The University of Connecticut softball team picked up a split against Cal St. Northridge and Pacific on day two of the 2015 Louisville Slugger Invitational, played in Stockton, Calif. The Huskies fell to the Matadors, 8-0, in five innings before bouncing back with a 7-4 victory over the Tigers in the nightcap. UConn stands at 9-17 in the 2015 campaign and will round out tournament play against Grand Canyon on Sunday, March 22 at 1 p.m. ET.
Game One - vs. Cal St. Northridge
Lauren Duggan (6-8) struggled against the Matadors, giving up five runs without recording an out in her 16th start of the year. Sophomore righty Kayla pitched well in relief, finishing the contest's final 4.0 innings and allowing just three runs on three hits with three strikeouts. Zoe Conley (11-3) took home the victory for CSUN after limiting the Husky offense to just four hits in 5.0 innings of work.
The Matadors opened the game with five runs in the bottom of the first, chasing Duggan after four straight hits and bringing on Doty, who was able to work out of further trouble.
Katie Hooper extended the Cal St. Northridge lead in the second, blasting a solo shot to left field.
The Huskies threatened in the top of the fourth after Alyson Ambler opened the frame with a double to right center and advanced to third on a groundout to the right side by Alyssa Gardea but Conley was able to work out of the jam by inducing a pair of groundouts.
Cal St. Northridge tacked on one in the fourth and sealed the victory with a clean top of the fifth.
Ambler extended her team-best hit streak to six games in the setback.
Game Two - at Pacific
Freshman Chelsea Eckert picked up her first collegiate win with a stellar 7.0 inning, four-run effort. The righty allowed just seven hits and notched a pair of strikeouts in the win.
UConn got on the board first in game two, stringing together three hits in the game's opening frame, headlined by an RBI single to right field by Dominique Pinto.
Pacific responded with three-run inning of its own in the bottom of the first, putting together three hits and taking advantage of two walks. The Tigers added a run in the second courtesy of an RBI double off the bat of Molly Bourne.
Connecticut grabbed two back in the top of the third after senior 3B Emily O'Donnell and Ambler notched back-to-back RBI singles to cut the Pacific lead to 4-3. The Huskies regained the lead in the fourth after Townsend ripped an RBI single into right field and Gardea tripled into the right field gap, scoring two.
UConn added an insurance run in the sixth when O'Donnell laced a two-out RBI single through the left side of the infield to plate Townsend.
UConn will look to rebound against the Antelopes on Sunday after falling, 11-2, on Friday in the tournament opener.