STORRS, Conn. – The University of Connecticut softball team swept its 2016 home opener doubleheader against Bryant at Burrill Family Field on Wednesday. The Huskies started the day with a 2-0 win and followed up with a dominant 15-2 victory to end the afternoon. With the win, the Huskies improve to 13-20, while the Bulldogs fall to 1-23.
Junior RHP Kayla Doty (4-2) earned her fourth complete-game win of the season with a two-hit shutout. Hayley Bottino (0-4) was charged with the loss after giving up both of the Huskies’ runs and six hits in 4.0 innings of work.
Taylor Townsend tallied the first hit of the game for the Huskies with a leadoff single to the left side and Kelli Bates moved her over to second on a sacrifice bunt. Lexi Gifford looped her fifth double of the season to bring Townsend home and give UConn a 1-0 edge.
The Bulldogs threatened in the top of the third with two runners in scoring position but the Huskies worked their way out of trouble with back-to-back ground outs.
In the fourth, Dominique Pinto singled to left field and Jacklyn Dubois laid down a sacrifice bunt to move her over. Ally Hernandez singled down the left line and stole second for two Huskies in scoring position. Alyssa Gardea delivered the sacrifice fly to send Pinto home for a 2-0 lead.
Bryant recorded its first hits of the game in the sixth with consecutive singles. Ultimately, the Bulldogs would leave two stranded due to a Husky fielder’s choice and ground out.
Sophomore righty Chelsea Eckert (5-10) earned the starting nod in the second game, tossing 5.0 innings, allowing five hits, two runs and three strikeouts. Colby Norris picked up her ninth loss of the season after only 1.0 innings of work, in which she gave up three hits and seven runs (five earned).
Taylor Townsend worked her way out of a full count for a walk to start the frame and got over to second on a ground out. Alyson Ambler was hit by a pitch to put two on for UConn. Next at bat, Pinto reached on an error by the shortstop and brought two runs in for an early 2-0 lead.
The Huskies broke the game open in the home frame of the second. Heather Fyfe singled to left field before Valerie Sadowl walked. With two on and no one out, Townsend stepped up and hit a powerful double to right field while the pair made a mad dash home. Bate followed up with a walk and Gifford had the hot bat as she smashed a three-run homer over the left field fence to put UConn ahead 7-0.
Jacklyn Dubois continued the scoring after she dropped the ball in the center field gap for a double, sending Alyssa Gardea in. Next up, Fyfe tallied her first triple of the season to plate the seventh run of the second inning and give the Huskies a 9-0 lead.
UConn didn’t hold back in the third with one out, as Bates singled to center field and Ambler followed up with a walk. Down in the count, Gardea battled back and singled to the shortstop. Dubois slapped a hard single to right field to send two more runs in as the Huskies went up 11-0.
Connecticut kept the runs coming in the fourth after Gardea singled to plate Townsend. Pinto smashed a three-run home run over the left field fence to extend UConn’s lead to 15-0.
The Bulldogs picked up their two runs in the top of the fifth with three singles to load the bases. Hayley Bottino doubled to center field to send a pair across home plate but the Huskies halted the rally with a ground out to end the game, 15-2.
The Huskies finished the day with 19 hits.
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