GREENVILLE, N.C. -- Playing in its final regular season road conference series of the year, the University of Connecticut softball team split a doubleheader with East Carolina on Saturday at ECU Softball Stadium. The Huskies took game one, 3-1, before dropping the nightcap 15-3, in five innings. With the split, the Huskies move to 17-29, while the Pirates stand at 15-36.
Senior RHP Lauren Duggan picked up her 10th win of the year after notching her sixth complete game of the 2015 campaign. The Norwood, Mass. native allowed just two hits and one earned run in 7.0 innings of work. Lydia Richie went the distance for the Pirates and took the loss after surrendering all three Husky runs on seven hits.
East Carolina struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the second after Ali Ramirez blasted a solo shot over the left field wall. UConn drew even in the third after Lexi Gifford singled, advanced to second on an outfield assist and scored on an RBI sac fly off the bat off Alyssa Gardea.
The Huskies took their first lead of the afternoon in the top of the sixth when junior C Jacklyn Dubois connected on her second homerun in the last six games, launching a solo shot to dead center. Connecticut added an insurance run in the seventh when Lexi Gifford sent a single back up the middle to plate Ashley LaPenta, who pinch ran for junior OF Heather Fyfe.
The win secured UConn's fourth conference victory of the season, surpassing its total (3) from the 2014 campaign.
Gifford picked up her second-straight multi-hit game in the victory after turning in a 2-for-4 day at the dish.
Freshman righty Chelsea Eckert got the nod in game two and took the loss after giving up seven runs on six hits with a pair of strikeouts in 1.1 innings of work.
UConn jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the game's opening frame after Gifford collected an RBI single and Dominique Pinto followed with a run-scoring double of her own.
The Pirates responded with an eight-run second inning of their own, racking up eight hits in the frame, highlighted be a grand slam from Abby Wayne. ECU added four runs in the third after Karlie Smith notched the squad's second grand slam of the afternoon and scored its final three runs of the afternoon in the fifth.
Freshman Emma Stanley recorded her first career RBI in the fourth inning when she singled to left field to plate Ambler.
The Huskies and Pirates will square off in a rubber match on Sunday set for 12 p.m. Follow @UConnSoftball on Twitter for in-game updates.