HOUSTON, Texas – Trailing 6-2 in the seventh inning, the UConn softball team attempted a two-out comeback that put the tying run on second base, but came up one hit short in a 6-4 loss to Houston on Saturday.
The Huskies (13-18, 1-3 American) fell to the Cougars for the second-straight day in a game that was broadcast on the American Digital Network. Sophomore pitcher Jill Stockley (4-8) earned the loss.
Sophomore Ally Hernandez and freshman Carli Cutler each blasted a solo home run in the sixth inning, which at that point erased Houston’s 2-0 advantage. It marked the 14th-consecutive game that Cutler has reached base.
Stockley tossed 5.2 innings, not surrendering a hit until the fourth inning. After holding Houston scoreless in the first four frames, she allowed six runs (five earned) in the fifth and sixth as the Huskies were forced to play catch-up.
Down by four runs in the final inning, freshman Chloe Kerns got the carousel started with a two-out single to left field. Junior Emma Stanley knocked in pinch runner Ryne Nakama with an RBI double, cutting the lead to 6-3.
Hernandez reached on a throwing error by Houston’s third baseman Shelby Miller, which plated Stanley from second and cutting the lead to 6-4.
Senior Taylor Townsend, who led the Huskies with a 2-for-4 game out of the lead-off spot, smacked a double to right center – putting Hernandez and herself into scoring position. However, sophomore Kelli Bates accounted for the final out, leaving them on base.
After four-and-a-half scoreless innings, the Cougars scored a pair in the fifth on an RBI single by Kelli Montgomery. Two runs scored on the play after a throwing error by Townsend at second base.
Hernandez hit her first home run of the season in the sixth, while Cutler smacked her third just three batters later to tie the game – 2-2.
In the bottom half of the sixth, the Cougars scored all four runs with two outs – including three RBI singles to put the Huskies in a 6-2 hole leading into the seventh.
Stockley and Eckert combined to strand 11 Houston runners on base throughout the game, including the bases loaded in the first and sixth innings.
Six different Huskies recorded hits off Houston starter Trystan Melancon, who allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits in the complete-game win.
Cutler continues her tear at the plate, as she now is hitting a team-best .330 at the dish. She has reached base at least once in every game since March 15.
The Huskies play the series finale against Houston on Sunday at 1 p.m. (ET). UConn then travels back home to play Boston College on Tuesday at the Burrill Family Field.
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