Gifford hits walk-off homer in 4-3 win
April 20, 2013
STORRS, Conn.- The UConn softball team swept St. John's in the opening day of the three-game series by scores of 6-5 and 4-3 on Saturday. With the pair of victories the Huskies improved to 21-20 overall and 5-8 in the BIG EAST, while the Red Storm now sit at 12-30-1 (3-10 BE).
Each team registered 14 hits over the afternoon with sophomore Emily O'Donnell leading the Huskies going 3-for-5 at the plate with one homerun and two RBI. Connecticut totaled three homeruns on the afternoon.
Connecticut will conclude the three-game series against St. John's on Sunday at noon.
UConn 6, St. John's 5
The Huskies dotted the scoreboard first with a run in bottom of the first on a RBI-single to left center by Emily O'Donnell as Maddy Schiappa reached home.
Connecticut trailed 4-1 after the Red Storm notched four runs in the top of the third inning but the Huskies responded with a two-run third of their own to cut the lead to 4-3.
A four-hit sixth inning for the Huskies resulted in three runs where the team grabbed a 6-4 advantage. Marissa Guches kicked off the go-ahead inning with a double down the leftfield line before being replaced on the bags by Valeria Sadowl. Also recording hits in the inning was Kim Silva, Jacklyn Dubois and Brittany Duclos, while Sadowl, Silva and Audrey Grinnell each scored.
St. John's threatened to even the game when they put runners on first and second following a single and a Husky error. The UConn defense stood strong in the top of the seventh when Erin Burner doubled to left field scoring Chrissy Montez but caught Yvonne Rericha on a relay from Schiappa to O'Donnell to Dubois.
Kiki Saveriano notched her 17th complete game of the season improving to 13-10 on the season after allowing seven hits, only three earned runs and striking out seven batters.
UConn 4, St. John's 3
Freshman infielder Lexi Gifford was the star in game two with a walk-off homer to left field in the bottom of the seventh inning against losing pitcher Francecsca Carrullo (0-4). It marked Gifford's third career homerun and only hit of the day.
The low scoring contest was a pitcher's duel in the beginning with the Red Storm scoring the game's first run in the top of the fourth before adding two more in the sixth.
Trailing 3-0, UConn evened the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth on five hits, including a blast over the fence from O'Donnell to open the inning.
Once again the Husky defense was stout as the Red Storm loaded the bases in the seventh. Recently entered into catcher was Tori Thomson who chased down a wild pitch and watched as Lauren Duggan made the tag on MacKenna Neuroth who was attempting to steal home with two outs.
Gifford, the first UConn batter of the seventh, gave the Huskies a 4-3 victory with her walk-off to left field.
Duggan improved to 5-4 on the season after only two earned runs and striking out four.