Huskies leave eight on base in loss
UConn softball had no trouble getting runners on base in Tuesday’s 7-4 loss to UMass. The Huskies managed eight hits, three walks, and two hit-by-pitches, good enough to knock in four runs. But UConn had more chances to score – they just didn’t capitalize on them. The Huskies left eight runners on base, something UConn coach Jen McIntyre doesn’t intend to repeat heading into Wednesday’s game against Boston College.
“We had runners in scoring position several times,” McIntyre said. “We didn’t take advantage of the opportunities to be able to have RBIs, so that was frustrating.”
UMass took an early 1-0 lead on a first inning RBI single. The Huskies looked poised to respond in kind in the bottom of the first, with Alyssa Gardea and Dominique Pinto singling to lead off the inning. However, UConn was unable to make anything of two on with no outs. A strikeout, a pop up, and a groundout in quick succession ended the Huskies’ early threat.
In the third inning, UConn managed to get some offense going – scoring three runs on RBI singles by Jacklyn Dubois and Taylor Townsend. After Townsend’s hit, the Huskies had runners on first and second with just one out and momentum on offense. That all changed after UMass reliever Meg Colleran stuck out Taylor Smith looking, and getting Lexi Gifford to ground out to end the inning. The three runs gave UConn a temporary lead, but the Huskies were unable to break the game open.
Late home runs sink Huskies
UMass had no trouble producing runs on Tuesday, tagging UConn’s pitching staff for 12 hits – three of them home runs – en route to victory. Jena Cozza led the Minutewomen with two home runs and four RBI’s on the day. There was a steady wind blowing out to left field all afternoon, but McIntyre knows that the breeze had no effect on the hits.
“Honestly, I don’t think the wind played a factor,” McIntyre said. “I wish I could say it did, but nope. They just got them.”
Cozza’s first home run was a two-run shot lined to right field that made its way over the fence in a hurry. Her second, however, was a towering blast that seemed to hang in the air for an eternity before landing in the parking lot beyond Burrill Family Field.
“She got a good cut on the ball,” McIntyre said. “We made a pitch that didn’t break in the zone, and she took advantage of it, so credit to the hitter.”
But UMass wasn’t done. Taylor Carbone followed Cozza’s home run with a solo shot of her own in the very next at-bat. In total, five of UMass’s seven runs came via the long ball, powering them past the Huskies on Tuesday.
Pete Harasyko is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.