ORLANDO, Fla. - The UConn softball team had several offensive opportunities on Saturday, but fell one hit short of tying the game in the seventh, suffering a 3-2 loss to UCF in the second game of a weekend set.
Three Huskies (16-27, 2-11 American) recorded multiple hits, with RBI singles by freshman Kiwi McDaniel and senior Taylor Townsend fueling the offense, but UConn missed a few chances - stranding eight runners in the game.
Junior pitcher Chelsea Eckert (1-3) picked up the loss, tossing 3.1 innings and allowing three runs on five hits. Freshman Katie Koshes served a relief role for the second-straight game, pitching 2.2 scoreless frames.
One day after scoring a big win in American Athletic Conference play, the Huskies once again were on the attack offensively - racking up eight hits off three different UCF pitchers. A lack of run-producing hits was the difference.
With one out in the seventh, McDaniel hit a single to center, giving the Huskies a base runner while facing a 3-2 deficit. Freshman Carissa Brizzi pinch ran for McDaniel and reached second on a passed ball, but consecutive fly-outs ended the game.
A key chance came in the third inning, when the Huskies loaded the bases with no outs. McDaniel's single scored Townsend from third, but that was all UConn got. Freshman Chloe Kerns nailed a liner to right, but it was caught to end the threat.
UCF's Jazmine Esparza hit a solo home run off Eckert in the second inning, giving the Knights an early 1-0 lead. McDaniel's 13th RBI of the season in the top half of the third off starter Kamryn Toney tied the game.
After the Knights added two more runs in the fourth to take a 3-1 edge, Townsend's two-out RBI single in the sixth cut the deficit in half. It marked the second-straight day that Townsend had multiple hits and an RBI.
Six players have multiple hits in the first two games of the UCF series, with Townsend and McDaniel leading the way at four hits each. Kerns has a team-high four RBI on the road trip, with Sadowl chipping in three.
The Huskies face UCF in the series finale on Sunday at noon, which will be Senior Day for the Knights. For UConn, a win would mean its first conference series win of the season.
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