MEMPHIS – The University of Connecticut softball team opened American Athletic Conference play with a 7-0 loss to Memphis on Thursday, March 24 at Tigers Softball Complex in Memphis, Tenn. The setback drops the Huskies to 10-19 and 0-1 in The American while the Tigers improve to 17-16 and 1-0 in league action.
Memphis’ Molly Smith picked up her fifth win of the season with a complete-game shutout. Sophomore righty Chelsea Eckert (4-10) struggled, allowing three runs in 1.2 innings of work. Freshman RHP Jill Stockley finished off the game’s 4.1 innings, allowing four earned runs with four strikeouts.
The Tigers grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning, capitalizing on a walk and two players getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
The Huskies threatened in the third with consecutive singles by Alyssa Gardea, Taylor Townsend and Kelli Bates to stack the bags with one out but UConn couldn’t get anyone home after Smith pitched back-to-back strikeouts to close the inning.
Memphis added a pair of runs in the home half of the third after Lindsay Crowdus poked the ball through the right side. Regan Hadley had a two-run homer to left field in the fifth for a 7-0 advantage.
Heather Fyfe got the ball rolling for the Huskies in the sixth with a single to second base. Ally Hernandez showed her patience at the plate to earn a walk but the side was retired after Smith once again got a pair to swing and miss to seal the win for the Tigers.
Bates tallied a single in three of her four showings at the plate.
The team returns to the diamond on Friday, March 25 for its second game of the series with Memphis at 6 p.m. ET.