STORRS, Conn. – For the better part of Friday’s contest, sophomore pitcher Jill Stockley stood toe-to-toe with Tulsa ace Emily Watson, but a lack of offense proved to be the difference in UConn softball’s 3-1 loss to the Golden Hurricane on Friday.
The Huskies (15-24, 1-8 American) received seven solid innings from Stockley, but ran into the six-time American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week. Watson struck-out 13 in the opening game of the series at the Burrill Family Field.
Stockley (6-10) allowed three runs on eight hits, striking out six and walking a pair in her outing. She held the Hurricane scoreless in five of her seven innings, giving the UConn offense a chance to deliver.
Freshman Carissa Brizzi provided UConn’s only run on a bunt single, scoring junior Emma Stanley from third and at that point, tying the game – 1-1. Stanley went 2-for-3 with a run to lead the Huskies.
A key opportunity came in the third frame for UConn, as a two-out double down the right field line by freshman Chloe Kerns moved junior Ryne Nakama to third. With a pair in scoring position, Watson struck-out freshman Carli Cutler – UConn’s leading hitter – to get out of trouble.
Kerns, Nakama and redshirt senior Valerie Sadowl each recorded hits for the Huskies, but the team stranded five runners on base throughout the game – including four in scoring position.
Neither team scored until the fourth inning when Tulsa’s Morgan Neal blasted a home run to right field, breaking the scoreless tie. Brizzi’s RBI bunt tied the game in the bottom half, following singles from Stanley and Sadowl.
An RBI triple by Julia Hollingsworth and RBI single from Maggie Withee in the fifth inning gave Tulsa a permanent 3-1 lead. The Huskies were retired in order by Watson in each of the last three innings.
Stockley added to her team-high 91.1 innings of work this season, while also dropping her opponent batting average to .249. It is the third-straight game that at least five different Huskies have recorded a hit.
The Huskies take on Tulsa in the second game of the series on Saturday. First pitch is at 2 p.m. (ET) and fans are encouraged to bring their dogs for “Bark in the Park.”