Softball Splits on Day One of the Golden Panther Invitational



    GAME 1 vs. Florida A&M - Boxscore [], []
    GAME 2 vs. Florida International - Boxscore [], []

    MIAMI, Fla. (Feb. 25) --
    The University of Connecticut softball team opened the 2005 season on Friday with a 12-4 win over Florida A&M and a 2-1 setback against Florida International, ranked No. 20 in this week’s USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25 Poll, on day one of the Golden Panther Invitational. The Huskies move their record to 1-1 while Florida A&M falls to 10-11 on the year and No. 20 Florida International improves its record to 13-3.

    In game one, the Huskies posted seven runs over the first two innings as the team cruised past the Rattlers, 12-4. Freshman Allie Gendron (Noblesville, Ind.) singled up the middle to drive in senior Stephanie DiBiase (Hamilton, N.J.), tallying an RBI in her first collegiate at bat and giving UConn a 1-0 lead. Connecticut posted four more runs in the first as senior Ashleigh Campen (Rougemont, N.C.) scored on a wild pitch. Senior Suzy de Bary (Roxbury, Conn.) then knocked in classmate Mandy Schettini (Coxsackie, N.Y.) and Gendron with a double to right center field then came around to score on a wild pitch.

    Gendron opened up the second inning with a single, going a perfect 2-for-2 in the contest with a run scored and an RBI. Senior Jen Ward (Gales Ferry, Conn.) followed with a double to right center that plated sophomore Holly Calcagno (Cedar Grove, N.J.) and Schettini for UConn’s sixth and seventh runs of the afternoon.

    Florida A&M threatened a comeback with four runs over the third and fourth innings. Delia McMillan singled and scored and Treva Robinson tallied a sacrifice fly RBI in the third. In the fourth, Alacia Strafford singled and scored followed by an RBI single from Ashley Mitchell to bring the Rattlers to within three. However, the Huskies put the game away with three runs in the bottom of the inning and then recorded two more in the sixth.

    Senior Jessica Gurney (Williamstown, Mass.) threw six innings for Connecticut, allowing four earned runs on six hits with 12 strikeouts and one walk in her first victory of the season. Starter Destiny Gordon suffered the loss (3-5) for Florida A&M, allowing five earned runs on four hits. She was relieved by Danielle Brown who tossed four innings and allowed five runs on seven hits with six walks and one strikeout and Mitchell who went 1.1 innings and allowed two unearned runs on two hits with three strikeouts.

    In the Huskies second contest of the day, the team came up just short against No. 20 Florida International, 2-1.

    The Golden Panthers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Deomni Murray scored on a wild pitch after reaching with a single.

    DiBiase then managed to tie the score at one as she tripled to right field to bring home senior Jen D’Angelo (Wyomissing, Pa.) who singled to lead off in the third. But, in the bottom half of the inning, Florida International posted two consecutive singles by Murray and Brook Ruiz, followed by a two-out hit from Powell to plate Ruiz, putting the Golden Panthers back on top by a 2-1 margin.

    That would be all Florida International would need as Sarah Belanger managed to hold the Huskies scoreless for the remainder of the contest. Belanger threw all seven innings and allowed one run on six hits with one walk and 11 strikeouts to pick up the victory for FIU. UConn junior Michelle Caouette (Wyantskill, N.Y.) allowed two runs on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts and took the loss.

    Connecticut continues play in the Golden Panther Invitational tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 26, with a game against Central Florida at 11:00 a.m.