TAMPA, Fla. – Jumping back into American Athletic Conference action, the University of Connecticut softball team couldn’t overcome an early deficit and dropped a 9-1 decision to USF on Friday, April 8. With the loss, the Huskies are 13-22 overall and 1-4 in conference play. The Bulls move to 34-10 and 6-1 in league outings.
Junior ace Kayla Doty (4-4) was tagged with the loss after only 0.2 innings in the circle, allowing five hits and six runs before being replaced by sophomore Chelsea Eckert. Eckert pitched 3.1 innings of relief on six hits, three runs (one earned) and five strikeouts. Erica Nunn got the win for USF in 5.0 innings of five-hit, one-run, six-strikeout ball.
Lexi Gifford led off with a single to get the game started. Alyson Ambler followed up with a single of her own and Dominique Pinto flew out to move the runners into scoring position with Alyssa Gardea on deck. Gardea singled to the shortstop for her 26th hit of the season to bring Gifford in and give the Huskies a 1-0 lead.
The Bulls turned things around in the home half of the first with a double through the left side by Monica Santos and single to left center from Nunn to go ahead 2-1. After loading the bases, a two-run double and RBI single increased the lead before a pair of singles and a Husky throwing error broke open the frame for an 8-1 Bulls advantage.
In the bottom of the second, USF tacked on a run thanks to a single with two outs for a 9-1 final score.
The Bulls threatened in the fourth with a single through the left side and a runner on third but the Huskies made the play at home to close the frame.
Ambler was the only Husky to record two hits on the day.
UConn and USF will continue their series on Saturday, April 9 at the USF Softball Complex. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.