Softball: Patience leads to pair of conference wins

Jacklyn Dubois receives a pitch during UConn's 2-0 loss to East Carolina at the Burrill Family Field on Friday April 15, 2016. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

The UConn softball team’s 2-0 loss to East Carolina on Friday marked their third scoreless game in four contests. However, the Huskies clearly made some necessary adjustments after Friday’s game; because they poured on 23 runs over the next two games to win the series.

Patience was key for the UConn offense on Saturday, as they drew 10 walks on their way to an 8-5 victory. The Huskies actually managed to push across eight runs on only three hits. Patience is something head coach Jen McIntyre has preached to her team as a means of instigating more offense.

“Part of our game plan going in was to be more patient at the plate,” McIntyre said. “Our walk to strikeout ratio has been something we’ve been focused on all season. Taking better pitches, swinging at better pitches in our counts and trying to get them to throw it into our game.”

After falling behind 5-0, UConn scored three runs on zero hits in the fourth inning, assisted by an error, a hit by pitch and three walks. When they got good pitches to hit in the fifth inning, UConn made the most of their opportunities. A single by sophomore Ryne Nakama with the bases loaded scored two runs to tie the game at 5-5. Senior second baseman Valerie Sadowl followed that up with an opposite field three-run homer to give UConn the lead for good.

“I was really just focused on getting runners in. We’ve been focusing a lot on RBI hitting during practice, so I really wanted to get the ball to the right side and at least move them over,” Sadowl said.

She recorded two of UConn’s three hits and drew a bases loaded walk to drive in four runs on the day.

“We were really focused on being patient at the plate,” Sadowl said. “We just tried to scratch and claw our way back and today we were able to do that.”

Sunday’s game featured the same patience at the plate. UConn drew a whopping 13 walks, but this time they tacked on 10 hits as well. This combination of plate discipline and hard contact led them to a 15-7 win over the Pirates to take two out of three in the series.

The game ended in the bottom of the sixth inning when UConn hit the eight-run mercy rule. The offense started early and was consistent throughout the day. The Huskies put two on the board in the first inning and two more in the second before exploding for seven runs in the third.

Freshman Taylor Smith and senior Alyson Ambler both hit three-run homers in the third inning to blow the game wide open. It seems like the sky is the limit for the Huskies when they remain patient and wait for their pitches. They’ll have a chance to keep the offense rolling on Tuesday at 4 p.m. against UMass. 


Pete Harasyko is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at peter.harasyko@uconn.edu.