STORRS, Conn. – Three players recorded multiple hits for the UConn softball team on Saturday, but eight runners were left on base throughout the game in a 6-0 loss to Tulsa on Bark in the Park day at the Burrill Family Field.
RBI hitting continues to elude the Huskies (15-25, 1-9 American), as six runners were stranded in scoring position in the second game of a weekend set with the Golden Hurricane.
Freshman pitcher Katie Koshes (6-7) took the loss, allowing five runs on four hits in 5.1 innings of work. She struck-out six and walked four, but surrendered three home runs to Tulsa, including a three-run homer in the sixth.
Senior Taylor Townsend, as well as juniors Ryne Nakama and Emma Stanley, each had two hits off Tulsa pitcher Madison Higley and Haley Meinen. Stanley extended her hitting streak to three games, while Nakama reached based for the sixth consecutive contest.
“RBI hitting is a mentality; it’s just a mindset,” said head coach Jen McIntyre. “It’s a matter of getting the bat, digging in and finding a way to make it happen. It comes from confidence and we need someone to step up.”
The Huskies had a solid opportunity in the second frame, Townsend and sophomore Kelli Bates were on second and third with two outs. Nakama’s groundout to second ended the threat, which was a chance for UConn to erase a 1-0 deficit.
Tulsa’s Shannon Hughes hit a solo home run off Koshes in the second, while Julia Hollingsworth added a solo shot in the third – giving Tulsa a 2-0 lead. It slowed down Koshes’ effort, which started with five strikeouts in the first two innings.
The Golden Hurricane tacked on four runs in the sixth, with the big blow coming on a three-run homer from Rylie Spell. Junior pitcher Chelsea Eckert pitched the final 1.2 innings for UConn, allowing one unearned run and four hits.
In the sixth inning, the Huskies looked to chip away at a six-run deficit with back-to-back singles from Stanley and Townsend, but redshirt senior Valerie Sadowl and freshman Devon Casazza were retired to end the frame.
"It's timely hitting and every softball or baseball coach says the same thing. That's what it comes down to," said McIntyre.
Koshes added to her team-high strikeout total of 106, the most of any UConn pitcher since Kiki Saveriano in the 2013 season (158).
The series finale between UConn and Tulsa has been pushed up to 11 a.m. (ET) on Sunday at the Burrill Family Field. It will be the annual Pink Game, with all donations going to UConn Health.