O'Donnell's homer lifts Huskies to 5-3 win over UMass.
April 3, 2012
STORRS, Conn. – The Huskies continued to utilize home field advantage defeating Massachusetts, 5-3, to stretch their home win streak to four. UConn’s freshman shortstop Emily O’Donnell lifted the Huskies to the victory with her two-run blast over center field against one of the nation’s top hurlers Sara Plourde. Connecticut improves to 14-14 (3-3 BE) and UMass falls to 16-11 (4-0 A10) following Tuesday’s contest.
UConn was only able to muster up three hits against Plourde and the Minutewomen but the Huskies capitalized on two critical UMass errors to win the game. Connecticut’s three hits were more than average against one of the country’s best who only allows two hits per game which is second in the nation. Additionally, Plourde is first in the country in strikeouts as she sent eight Huskies packing in her six innings on the mound.
The Minutewomen, who tallied seven hits, grabbed a 1-0 advantage in the top of the first inning following a two hit showing. Center fielder Cyndil Matthew crossed home plate for an unearned run following a Husky error. Massachusetts pushed its lead to 2-0 in the third on a double and two singles.
With runners on first and second in the bottom of the fifth, redshirt junior Marissa Guches singled to the left fielder who mishandled the ball allowing the Huskies to score two runs to gain a 3-2 lead. UMass responded with two hits and one run to even the game at 3-3 in the sixth.
DeLuca started the bottom of the sixth with a walk but was unable to move from first as UMass racked two outs against the Huskies. With a tied game and two outs, O’Donnell stepped up to the plate and sent the ball flying over the center field fence to regain a Husky lead of 5-3. It marked the freshman’s seventh homerun of the season.
Junior hurler Kiki Saveriano earned the win as she moved to 9-7, while Plourde fell to 15-9. Saveriano allowed only one earned run and struck out five Minutewomen to conclude the evening.
The Huskies continue their four-game home stretch this weekend when they host BIG EAST foe Villanova on Friday, Apr. 6, at 4 p.m. and Saturday, Apr. 7, for a doubleheader starting at noon.