STORRS, Conn. - Despite a seventh-inning rally, the University of Connecticut softball team fell, 5-4, to in-state rival Quinnipiac on Wednesday at Burrill Family Field. With the setback, UConn drops to 17-31, while the Bobcats improve to 15-32.
Senior righty Lauren Duggan (10-13) battled through 6.1 innings of work, surrendering five runs on seven hits to go along with six strikeouts. Chelsea Eckert came in in relief of Duggan in the seventh and tossed 0.2 innings of scoreless ball. Quinnipiac's Sydney Robey (5-12) nabbed her fifth win of the year after tossing 5.0 innings of three-run ball.
The Bobcats started the scoring in the second inning when Robey led off the frame with an opposite field homer that snuck over the right field wall and gave the visitors a 1-0 edge. A RBI double from Molly Jarrett pushed across another run but Duggan worked out of further trouble by inducing a groundout and flyout to strand two in scoring position.
The Huskies knotted it up in the home half of the fourth, scoring twice on three hits. After Taylor Townsend and Alyssa Gardea notched singles, Dominique Pinto picked up an RBI with an infield single. On the play, the throw sailed into the stands and allowed Gardea to come home with the tying run.
Quinnipiac answered with two runs of its own in the fifth, highlighted by an RBI groundout from Robey. The Huskies clawed back in the ensuing half inning, grabbing a run after Duggan doubled to open the inning and was replaced on the basepaths by Ryane Nakama. The speedy OF moved to third on an infield single and came around to score when Townsend picked up her second hit of the afternoon with a RBI base knock up the middle.
In the sixth, junior OF Alyson Ambler nearly tied it up, launching a deep fly to center that was tracked down on the warning track by the centerfielder. Trailing 5-3 entering the seventh, senior 3B Emily O'Donnell drew the Huskies closer with an RBI double into the gap but
Townsend finished the afternoon 3-for-4 at the plate with a run and an RBI. Lexi Gifford (2-for-4) and O'Donnell (2-fo-4, RBI) also notched multi-hit afternoons at the plate.
The squad returns to the diamond on Thursday, April 30 when it finishes up non-conference play with a 4 p.m. tilt against UMass.
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