April 28, 2012
STORRS, Conn. (April 28, 2012) – The Syracuse Orange (37-12, 14-4) squeezed a sweep of the doubleheader Saturday afternoon at UConn (21-25, 9-12). Both games were pitcher’s duels, with 39 strikeouts and only nine runs between both teams on the day.
The opening game featured the teams’ aces on the mound—and they didn’t disappoint. Syracuse senior Jenna Caira (23-6) held UConn hitless through three innings on her way to a shutout. Through seven innings, Caira was able to retire 12 Huskies by way of the K, leaving her two strikeouts short of 1000 in her career.
Junior Kiki Saveriano (Lexington, Mass.) was also impressive for Connecticut, striking out 14 of the 23 batters she faced, her season high. However, her team was unable to provide her with run support off Caira, so she was credited with her 15th loss of the season.
Syracuse broke the scoreless tie when their leadoff batter, Stephanie Watts, hit her eighth home run of the year. Following the deep shot to center field, Saveriano went on to strike out the side.
The Orange were able to piece together another run in the fifth inning. Veronica Grant flew out to left field, which scored the runner on third and gave Syracuse the 2-0 lead. The two runs would be enough to hand the Huskies their fifth home loss of the year.
UConn’s bats were equally quiet in the second game as they took on junior righty Stacy Kuwik (12-3). Kuwik effortlessly worked her way through 5.2 innings without allowing a hit. When junior Marissa Guches (Sammamish, Wash.) got the Huskies first single in the sixth, Kuwik quickly got the next batter to fly out to end the inning.
Freshman Lauren Duggan (Norwood, Mass.) was on her way to pitching a gem before she ran into some trouble in the sixth. The culprit once again was Stephanie Watts, who got Syracuse on the board with an RBI single. After one more run crossed the plate, senior Ali Adelman (San Diego, Calif.) came on in relief. With the bases loaded and only one out, Adelman was able to escape the inning without further damage.
The Orange added three insurance runs in the top of the seventh off of Adelman. The final two runs came on a controversial homer by pinch-hitter Gaby Torzilli. The ball was hit over the left field foul pole and UConn argued the decision, but the umpires did not change the home run call.
UConn threatened a comeback in the final inning as they loaded the bases, but came up short. Ward hit a two-out double to left field allowing two runners to cross the plate. The three-run deficit was as close as they would get, as Syracuse escaped with a 5-2 victory.
UConn’s continues its chase for a spot in the BIG EAST Tournament Sunday as they face Syracuse in the final game of the regular season. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. at Burrill Family Field.