STORRS, Conn. (April 12) The University of Connecticut softball team managed to score five runs in the fifth, but fell to Massachusetts, 7-6, in ten innings at the UConn Softball Field on Tuesday afternoon. UConn slides to 11-19 with the loss while the Minutewomen improve to 16-11-1 on the season.
UMass took an early 1-0 lead with a solo homerun by K.J. Kelley in the first inning, but the Huskies responded with a run of their own to tie the score in the bottom of the first as sophomore Jessica Quan (Stockton, Calif.) reached on a fielders choice then scored on a double to center by freshman Allie Gendron (Noblesville, Ind.).
The Minutewomen climbed back out in front, 3-1, with two runs in the fourth. Candice Molinari began the inning with a strikeout, reached on a wild pitch and then stole second. Kelley followed with a walk and Pam Sulick doubled to bring home Molinari and Michea Holness, who pinch ran for Kelley.
UConn responded with an offensive outburst in the fifth, sending ten batters to the plate and racking up five runs on six hits. Senior Jen Ward (Gales Ferry, Conn.) knocked a leadoff double to begin the rally and scored on a double by Quan. Gendron went on to add the Huskies third double of the inning to plate senior Mandy Schettini (Coxsackie, N.Y.) who reached on an error. With two outs, senior Stephanie DiBiase (Hamilton, N.J.) tallied another two-base hit to extend the inning for the Huskies, scoring Gendron and sophomore Holly Calcagno (Cedar Grove, N.H) who was hit by a pitch. Freshman Christine Keeton (Spokane, Wash.) then brought in DiBiase with a single, giving Connecticut a 6-3 advantage.
However, UMass used three homeruns in the sixth and seventh innings to send the game into extra innings. Kelley hit her second solo shot of the game in the sixth, while Lauren Proctor and Amanda Morin launched back-to-back homers in the seventh.
In the top of the tenth, the Minutewomen scored the winning run as Molinari singled, stole second, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Denise Denis.
Jenna Busa started the game for UMass and pitched 4.1 innings. She allowed five runs, two earned, on five hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Barb LaFogg relieved her and recorded the victory (11-7), tossing 5.2 innings and allowing one unearned run on four hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Senior Jessica Gurney (Williamstown, Mass.) threw the entire ten innings for the Huskies and allowed seven runs, all earned, on eight hits with two walks and 14 strikeouts.
Connecticut continues its stint at home with a doubleheader against Quinnipiac on Thursday, April 14, with the first game beginning at 3:00 p.m.