STORRS, Conn. - Senior Heather Fyfe went 4-6 with one RBI, but the University of Connecticut softball team was swept in its final home doubleheader with the Houston Cougars at Burrill Family Field on Saturday.
The Huskies fell to the Cougars 5-1 in the first game, while the Huskies comeback fell short in the second game, losing 6-4. With the loss, UConn falls to 19-29 (4-9 AAC), while the Cougars improve to 24-27 (6-9 AAC).
It was Senior Day for five graduating seniors on UConn, as they were joined by family and friends in a pregame ceremony on Saturday before the first game.
Senior Lexi Gifford broke the school record for defensive assists in the third inning, when she made the final out on a ground ball put out. Her 499th career defensive assist passed Chris Woodman ('93) for the program record.
Junior Kayla Doty pitched 6.2 innings for the Huskies, allowing five runs on 13 hits, striking out three and allowing three walks. Fyfe went 2-3 with an RBI, and seniors Alyssa Gardea and Alyson Ambler recorded a hit each in the contest as well.
The Cougars jumped out to an early lead, when Maya Thomas laid down a bunt single to the right side, scoring one. Fyfe helped UConn answer back in the fourth inning, hitting a single through the gap in right center field, scoring senior Jacklyn Dubois from second base.
UConn held the Cougars in check with some outstanding defensive play, highlighted by sophomore Emma Stanley at third base. She made two excellent defensive stops, including one diving catch on a Houston bunt.
Houston reclaimed the lead in the sixth inning, when Courtney Klinger hit a two run home run over the center field fence. The Cougars added two insurance runs in the seventh inning to seal their victory.
Freshman Jill Stockley started the game for the Huskies, who had been 5-0 in her last five starts. She went 3.1 innings, allowing six runs on nine hits. Eckert entered the game in the fourth inning, providing 3.2 innings of relief, only allowing one run on one hit and recording a strikeout. Gifford was 3-for-4, scoring one run, while Gardea, Fyfe, and freshman Kelli Bates recorded two hits each.
Houston was first to get on the board, tacking on four runs in the third inning, highlighted by a three-run Savannah Heebner double. The Cougars increased their lead to six the next inning, with a two-run single by Klinger.
UConn quickly responded in the bottom half of the frame, as Dubois knocked an RBI groundout to score junior Dominique Pinto. The next inning the Huskies rally to score three more runs and cut Houston's lead to three. Gardea led off the inning with a double to left field, and after Gifford got on base with a single, Pinto doubled down the right field line to score the two runners. After a single by Fyfe, Dubois singled through the left side to score Pinto.
Down 6-4, the Huskies threatened to score again in the sixth inning, hitting three straight singles, but the rally was halted when Bates was thrown out at third base after rounding the bag too excessively. UConn's comeback fell short, as Houston tacked on an insurance run in the seventh inning to ensure their win.
The Huskies will return to action on Friday, May 6 when they will travel to play Tulsa. First pitch is set for 5:00 p.m. CT.
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