Softball Drops Tight Doubleheader To St. John's



    St. John's 12, UConn 4 [], []
    St. John's 9, UConn 6 (10) [], []

    STORRS, Conn. (April 26, 2006) - Despite four home runs and a complete game, 10 inning performance from senior Michelle Caouette (Wyantskill, N.Y.), the University of Connecticut softball team fell to St. John's in both games of a doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon. The Red Storm took the first game, 12-4, and the second game, 9-6, in 10 innings.

    With the losses, UConn drops to 18-25 overall and 5-11 in BIG EAST play. St. John's is now 25-23 overall and 8-10 in conference action.

    The Red Storm got things started with four runs in the top of the first inning, three of which came on a home run by Loren Anguiano. A single by Danielle Estrada in the top of the second brought another St. John's run in and two more came in on another single, this time by Jo Sherlock, to give the Red Storm the 7-0 advantage.

    The Red Storm scored  three more in the top of the third before UConn answered with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning. Freshman Erin Burtner (Jefferson, Md.) got things started by getting hit by a pitch and classmate Meghan Tierney (Salem, Conn.) advanced her to second on an infield single. Freshman Micah Truax (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) loaded the bases on a walk and fellow freshman Jillian Ortega (Aberdeen, N.J.) singled to center field to drive in both Burtner and Tierney.

    UConn cut into the St. John's lead again in the home half of the fourth inning when senior Kim Castner (Forked River, N.J.) drove a pitch over the fence for her first home run of the season. The Huskies scored once more in the bottom of the sixth on a solo homer from sophomore Christine Keeton (Spokane, Wash.), who had come in to pinch hit for junior Jessica Quan (Stockton, Calif.). However, St. John's added two more runs in the top of the seventh to close out the 12-4 victory.

    Junior Krista Michalczyk (Salem, N.H.) took the loss in the circle for UConn, giving up 10 hits and 10 runs in 2.1 innings of work while also striking out one batter. Sophomore Ashley Thody (Middletown, Conn.) pitched 4.2 innings of relief for the Huskies, scattering nine hits while in the circle.

    In the marathon second game of the doubleheader, UConn scored first in the bottom of the opening inning. Truax opened with a single to center field and then stole second two batters later. A single by freshman Danielle Del Ponte (Tewksbury, Mass.) drove her in and gave the Huskies the early 1-0 advantage.

    The score remained that way until the top of the third inning when a sacrifice fly by Lauren Lupinetti caused Tami Hill to cross the plate and knot the score at one all. It stayed that way until Quan started a UConn rally in the bottom of the fifth inning. Leading off with a single, the junior came around to score when classmate Kristina Tolles (Southington, Conn.) connected for her first career home run and give UConn back the lead. The lead would grow by one more run later in the half-inning after Truax scored on a single by sophomore Allie Gendron (Amherst, Mass.).

    The Red Storm tied the game in the top of the sixth inning with three runs on two hits and an error. Neither team could pick up any more runs in the remaining inning and a half and sent the game into extra frames. The score remained deadlocked until the top of the ninth inning when Hill scored on an error and Lupinetti singled in Estrada and St. John's took the two-run lead.

    Despite the darkness falling, the Huskies did not want to go home just yet, as Burtner opened the bottom half of the ninth by reaching on an error by the St. John's shortstop. Tierney sacrificed Burtner to third base and she then came around to score on a groundout by Truax. With two outs, Ortega sent a Jessica Foley pitch over the fence to continue the game. However, the Red Storm scored three runs in the top of the 10th inning to pick up the win.

    Caouette, in her final start at the Connecticut Softball Stadium, picked up the loss in the circle for UConn. In 10 innings, the senior scattered eight hits for just two earned runs and also struck out four batters.

    The Huskies will be in action again on Friday, April 28 when they travel to Syracuse. The conference doubleheader is set to begin at 4:00 p.m.