UConn softball went down to Boca Raton, Fla., this past weekend to participate in the FAU Tournament, and two double-headers in two days made for a tough schedule for the Huskies, who lost three of four on the weekend.
“We battled tough. We saw a lot of really good things from our pitching staff. They did a great job. Definitely things for us to build on moving forward,” head coach Jen McIntyre said.
Stockley started for the Huskies in game one against Kentucky, throwing 5.1 innings and allowing four runs on six hits. The Huskies took an early lead in the first inning thanks to an RBI from Carli Cutler, sending senior Taylor Townsend home for the first run of the game.
Kentucky tied it up in the second, and added two more in the fourth inning thanks, in part, to a throwing error by UConn’s senior Valerie Sadowl. In the fifth, the Huskies loaded the bases with one out. Townsend’s RBI groundout gave UConn one back, but two were left in on base when the inning concluded. The Huskies would fall to Kentucky in the first game of the weekend by a score of 4-2.
Freshman Carli Cutler was in the circle for the Huskies in game two as UConn squared off against the host team, FAU. Cutler went five innings, allowing four unearned runs, and costly errors by the UConn defense ultimately lost this game.
A two-out error in the third by UConn’s Emma Stanley allowed FAU to score three. In the fifth, a throwing error by Kiwi McDaniel allowed for the fourth run to come home. Katie Koshes pitched in relief during the sixth inning and went scoreless and Chelsea Eckert came in to finish out the game in the seventh, surrendering a solo home run before settling in. The pitching staff received a lack of run support throughout the game, stranding five runners total and going 0-7 with runners on base.
“Our pitching staff did a really great job this weekend. They kept hitters off balance. Any good team starts on the mound,” McIntyre said.
Strong pitching performances were in no short supply on day two of the tournament. UConn’s first victory of the weekend came at a score of 6-0 against Florida A&M. Stockley started once again for the Huskies in a complete-game, one-hit effort. Sadowl and Devon Casazza each had multi-hit games, providing the much needed run support the Huskies were missing the previous day.
Casazza’s day included her second home run of the season, while Taylor Smith’s two-run-homer in the fifth pushed the Huskies forward. This time around, UConn went 5-10 with runners on base, while Stockley’s impressive performance stranded eight runners on base and kept Florida scoreless.
“Our seniors have had a great start to the season, they’ve been really consistent,” McIntyre said. “Townsend in particular did a really great job getting on base.”
Game four was a fight to the finish for the Huskies as UConn would fall 3-2 to Arkansas in extra innings. Koshes kept UConn competitive with yet another complete-game effort. Sadowl and Cutler each had multi-hit games, and RBI from Cutler in the first and McDaniel in the fifth gave the Huskies their two runs. Arkansas tied the game up in the third and scored a temporary lead in the fourth. Regulation play ended 2-2. Despite an extraordinary pitching performance by Koshes, a wild pitch in the eighth would bring home a runner from third, giving Arkansas the win in this one.
“We laid it all out there. Went toe-to-toe, got out early and put pressure on. It was a back-and-forth game, and really something we wanted to see,” McIntyre said on the extra-innings effort.
Up next for the Huskies is the Coastal Carolina Invitational. Another two-day, four-game effort will see UConn face off against Northern Kentucky, North Dakota, and host-team Coastal Carolina.
Rachel Schaefer is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.