Box Scores: Game One | Game Two
HOUSTON, Texas -- Despite a pair of strong pitching performances, the University of Connecticut softball team could not find its offensive footing, falling twice to Houston at Cougar Softball Stadium in doubleheader action on Saturday, April 18. The Huskies dropped game one, 2-1, before falling, 4-1, in the nightcap. UConn falls to 15-26, while the Cougars jump to 21-23 with the sweep.
Lauren Duggan (9-10), who tossed the program's 37th no-hitter on Tuesday against Hartford, earned the starting nod and took the loss after allowing both Cougar runs on four hits with one strikeout in 3.2 innings of work. Freshman righty Chelsea Eckert tossed 2.1 innings of scoreless relief in the setback. Houston's Shelby Miller grabbed the victory with a complete-game five-hit effort.
After a slow offensive start, junior C Jacklyn Dubois got the Huskies on the board in the fourth with a solo shot to left center. The homer marked her first of the season and ninth of her career. The Cougars struck back in the home half of the inning, scoring twice. Junior CF Alyssa Gardea limited the damage in the inning by gunning down a would-be run at the plate.
Duggan kept the deficit at one in the fifth, working out of a bases-loaded and one out jam. Dominique Pinto picked up the squad's fifth hit in the fifth but was stranded at first after Miller induced an inning-ending groundout.
The Huskies went in order in the seventh as Miller secured the complete-game win.
Eckert (4-11) took the ball in game two and was hit with the loss after allowing four runs on four hits with one strikeout. Julana Shrum picked up the win after going the distance and surrendering just one run on two hits.
Neither team recorded a hit through the game's first three innings before the Cougars jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth, courtesy of a three-run shot off the bat of Shrum.
Eckert limited the damage in the fifth, working around a stolen base and an error to strand a Cougar at third and keep the deficit at three.
The Huskies grabbed a run back in the top of the sixth after senior 3B Emily O'Donnell roped a one-out RBI double into the left center gap to plate Lexi Gifford, who reached on an error to open the inning.
Houston added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when Miller connected on a solo shot to centerfield. Shrum tossed a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh to seal the win for the Cougars.
The two squads round out the three-game set with a 1 p.m. contest on Sunday.