GREENVILLE, N.C. – Freshman slugger Carli Cutler continued her tear on Thursday night, going 2-for-3 with a double, but the UConn softball team came out on the short end of a 4-0 decision against ECU in the first game of a weekend set.
The Huskies (14-20, 1-5 American) had just two hits in the game – both by Cutler – off ECU starting pitcher Lydia Ritchie. Koshes (6-6) picked up the loss for UConn, allowing four runs on three hits in 2.2 innings of work.
Junior Chelsea Eckert tossed 3.1 scoreless innings in relief of Koshes, keeping the Pirates in check and giving the UConn offense an opportunity to remain in striking distance. Koshes and Eckert combined to allow just five hits in the contest.
Ritchie struck-out six and walked just one in her complete-game victory, stranding three UConn runners on base throughout the game. Husky pitchers left seven ECU runners on, including Eckert stranding the bases loaded in the sixth.
The Pirates got on the board quick against Koshes, as Kacie Oshiro smacked a solo home run in the first inning to put the Huskies in a 1-0 hole.
In the third inning, ECU got runners on first and second due to walks from Koshes. Ali Ramirez then connected on a three-run homer, giving the Pirates a 4-0 cushion and leading to the entrance of Eckert.
UConn was retired in order in five innings against Ritchie, proving unable to reach base and manufacture run support. Cutler hit a double in the seventh, but was eventually left on third base to end the game.
Cutler’s team-high batting average jumped to .327 with her multi-hit game, while adding to her team-best 32 hits this season.
UConn gets another crack at ECU on Friday night in the second game of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. (ET).