STORRS, Conn. – Chelsea Eckert’s complete-game shutout, coupled with a fifth-inning grand slam by Ally Hernandez, led the University of Connecticut softball team to a 6-0 win over Central Connecticut State on Wednesday afternoon at the Burrill Family Field.
Eckert (6-10) scattered four hits over seven innings, striking out six batters in the win. The Blue Devils left eight runners on base throughout with some nifty work by Eckert in the circle.
Despite leaving 11 runners on base in the game, the Huskies (14-24, 1-6 AAC) finally exploded with a five-run, six-hit frame in the fifth against CCSU pitcher Alex Casanas to extend their lead to 6-0. The inning included Hernandez’s blast, which was her first-career home run.
Four different players had multiple hits for the Huskies, including Hernandez, who went 2-for-2 with four RBI and a run scored. Lexi Gifford, Alyson Ambler, and Dominique Pinto also had multi-hit performances.
Ambler smacked an RBI double in the first inning, plating Kelli Bates and giving UConn a 1-0 lead. It wasn’t until the fifth inning that the Huskies put the game out of reach.
Three consecutive hits to start the fifth preceded an RBI single by Ryne Nakama and then Hernandez’s homer over the left field fence.
Eckert went the distance for the seventh time this season and improved her ERA to 3.85. She has now started a team-high 16 games in the circle.
The Huskies return to league action this weekend in a home series with East Carolina. The first game with the Pirates is slated for Friday at 4 p.m. at the Burrill Family Field.