Softball: UConn falls to rival foe

The UConn women's softball team fell to the UMass minutewomen 7 to 4 at Burell Family Field on Tuesday afternoon. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

The Husky softball squad dropped a tough 7-4 decision at home against UMass Tuesday. The Huskies had eight hits to UMass’ 12 and timely hitting carried the Minutemen to the win.

Things would get going early as freshman Erin Stacevicz led off the game with a single. Stacevicz stole second and advanced to third on a groundout. Taylor Carbone then singled off sophomore Chelsea Eckert – the starting pitcher for UConn (16-27) – to score Stacevicz.

The Huskies bounced back Minutemen (16-22) and came back in the bottom half of the inning. Senior Alyssa Gardea singled up the middle to lead things off. Dominique Pinto followed up with a single of her own to put two on. However UMass starter Taylor Carbone retired the next three batters.

After the side was retired top two, UConn knotted things up at the plate. Sophomore Ryne Nakama singled and was advanced on a sacrifice bunt. With two out Lexi Gifford then singled to bring her home before UMass finished the inning.

The Minutemen continued to deliver offensive blows in the third. Stacevicz would hit a one-out triple and Jena Cozza would then hit a home run for two runs. Carbone would walk and Tara Klee singled to put two on for the Minutemen immediately after.

Sensing trouble, Coach Jen McCintyre brought in junior Kayla Doty to relieve Eckert. She was able to force a fly out and a Fielder’s Choice to escape without further damage.

UConn came back stronger as they came up. Pinto walked. After a fly out, Alyson Ambler singled and both would advance a base on a passed ball. Jacklyn Dubois hit a two RBI single and advance all the way to third on an error in left field. With Dubois in scoring position, Ryne Nakama would then be hit by a pitch causing UMass to make a pitching switch as well as Meg Colleran was brought in. Taylor Townsend would then single bringing in the Huskies third and final run of the inning.

Things would cool off for an inning before UMass struck again. Klee singled and catcher Ashton Wince double to drive her home tying things at 4. After the Huskies did nothing in the bottom of the fifth, UMass pulled away for good in the top of the sixth.

Stacevicz doubled to kick things off. Cozza then launched the first of back-to-back massive home runs for UMass. After Cozza’s two run shot, Carbone one-upped her with an even further one to deep left. Freshman Jill Stockley would come into replace Doty and leave the inning unscathed.

With the Minutemen up three, the Huskies could not muster any true comeback attempts and ultimately fell to local rival UMass. The game saw the Huskies use three pitchers and miss opportunities while letting UMass dominate.

“I don’t think that we played very well,” said Coach McCintyre. “We gave them a couple outs in innings and at this level you can’t give a team more than three outs an inning, you give a team four, five outs an inning, they’re going to take advantage of it.”

The Huskies have a quick turnaround as they take another New England rival, Boston College (21-18), tomorrow in Chestnut Hill.

“I really try to focus on us; we’re going to keep moving and shaking things until we can catch a groove and get going. I expect them to come after us full guts-blazing. I know they’ve got a good one-two combination on the mound, they’ve got speed, they’ve got power, they’re a good team so we need to be ready,” said McCintyre on the Eagles.


Matt Barresi is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at matthew.barresi@uconn.edu.