STORRS, Conn. – Once down by five runs, the University of Connecticut softball team mounted a monstrous comeback behind a three-run homer by Valerie Sadowl, on its way to an 8-5 victory over East Carolina on Saturday afternoon at the Burrill Family Field.
The Huskies (15-25, 2-7 AAC) snapped a six-game losing streak in American Athletic Conference play in their Cancer Awareness game, where all UConn players wore pink jerseys to support the VS Cancer Foundation.
Sadowl led the Huskies at the plate, going 2-for-3 with four RBI – a huge offensive game considering UConn recorded just three hits in the game. Ryne Nakama added a two-RBI single in the fifth inning, which tied the game before Sadowl’s blast gave the Huskies a lead.
“We just wanted to be more patient at the plate today and I think we did that,” said second-year head coach Jen McIntyre. “I’m really proud of how we fought back. Tomorrow, we try to win the series.”
UConn batters drew 10 walks in the game, showing patience at the dish as ECU pitchers Mary Williams and Morgan Halo were tagged for eight runs in just three innings of relief, while allowing only two hits.
Freshman hurler Jill Stockley (5-10) got the win for the Huskies, tossing 4.1 innings in relief of starter Chelsea Eckert. Stockley struck-out four and walked only one in her outing – the second straight day she has come out of the bullpen.
The Pirates jumped out to a 5-0 lead after their half of the fourth, but stranded eight runners in that time, eventually racking up 11 in the game. Stockley replaced Eckert in the third and held ECU scoreless in the final three frames.
Due to three walks, an error and a hit-by-pitch, the Huskies scored three runs in the fourth, which was the first inning for in the circle for Williams. Sadowl, Taylor Townsend, and Taylor Smith recorded RBI in the frame.
An eventful fifth inning started with walks to Lexi Gifford and Dominique Pinto. With the bases loaded, Nakama delivered a one-out RBI single to left center, tying the game. Sadowl followed with her three-run homer, giving UConn an 8-5 advantage. It was Sadowl’s first home run since the 2014 season.
Sadowl also added a lead-off double in the third inning, but was stranded on base. Eckert went 2.2 innings for the Huskies, allowing three runs on four hits while striking out two.
UConn looks to win the series with ECU on Sunday when it hosts the Pirates at 12 p.m. at Burrill Family Field. The game can be followed on live stats or @UConnSoftball on Twitter.
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