STORRS, Conn. -- Dominique Pinto lifted a ninth-inning home run just over the right field fence as the University of Connecticut softball team walked off with a 4-2 victory over UMass on Thursday at Burrill Family Field. With the win, UConn collected its 18th victory of the year to move to 18-31, while the Minutewomen dropped to 15-26.
Pinto's fifth career round-tripper, all of which have come this season, came with the game-winning run in scoring position and one out. Senior 3B Emily O'Donnell scored the game-winning run and went 3-for-4 at the plate in the win.
Freshman standout Chelsea Eckert (6-13) started on the bump for the 19th time this season and tossed a career-high 9.0 innings, notching an impressive nine strikeouts and allowing just two earned runs on six hits en route to her sixth career victory. Meg Colleran (3-11) was the hard-luck loser after tossing 8.1 innings and allowing seven hits.
The Huskies got out to the quick start, scoring twice in their first at-bat. Sophomore 2B Taylor Townsend started things off with her fourth hit in her last five at-bats with a single to left and advanced to second on a bloop single by Emily O'Donnell. After a fielder's choice, Colleran uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Townsend to score. Later in the inning, Jacklyn Dubois ripped a double down the left field line to score Ambler and give the Huskies a 2-0 edge.
The game stayed a 2-0 until the top of the sixth when the Minutewomen tied it up, taking advantage of three hits and a pair of wild pitches.
The Huskies nearly got the win an inning earlier when junior OF Alyssa Gardea broke up a string of 14-straight batters retired with a double that clanged off the bottom of the centerfield wall, but Colleran worked out of trouble with a pair of groundouts.
Connecticut has now won two-straight games against UMass and improves to 43-47-1 in the all-time series history. The Huskies also jump up to 2-1 in extra-innings affairs
Next up, the Huskies will host conference foe Tulsa for a three-game set at Burrill Family Field. Saturday's doubleheader is set to begin at 12 p.m.
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