In their first action in 10 days, the UConn softball team traveled to Rhode Island to take on Bryant in an afternoon doubleheader on Wednesday. They returned to Storrs with two wins and a much-needed confidence boost.
After two postponements last week due to unplayable field conditions, the Huskies (11-14) finally returned to action in dominant fashion against the struggling Bulldogs (5-22). In the first game of the day, pitcher Jill Stockley threw 6.1 stellar innings to pick up her team-leading fourth win of the season, allowing only one run on five hits with four strikeouts. She did not allow a hit through four innings.
The first run of the game came in the second inning, when UConn took a 1-0 lead on a throwing error by Bryant’s catcher. UConn’s Chloe Kerns provided UConn’s only RBI of the game with a solo home run in the top sixth, which would ultimately be an important insurance run.
Bryant’s Marianna Politis answered with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to bring the game within one. The Bulldogs threatened again in the bottom of the seventh, putting runners on the corners with one out. UConn’s Katie Koshes was brought in relief and proceeded to strike out the next two batters, recording the save and securing the 2-1 victory for the Huskies.
If the first game of the day was a pitcher’s duel, the second featured an encouraging offensive explosion from the slumping Huskies—and a combined no-hitter.
UConn dominated from start to finish, breaking the game open in the first with RBI from Kerns, Valerie Sadowl and Taylor Smith. The offense continued to come in bunches, as eight different players drove in runs, totaling 14 hits in the process. Through five innings, UConn had built a 9-0 lead. By mercy rule, if a team leads by eight runs or more after five innings, the game ends.
As good as the offense was, the pitching was the highlight of the afternoon. Koshes, a freshman, had already recorded a clutch save earlier in the day. She started the afternoon game, pitching four hitless innings, walking four and striking out five. Kayla Doty took over in the fifth, retiring the side, completing the no-hitter and giving UConn a 9-0 victory.
The no-hitter is the 38th in program history. With the two victories, UConn improves to 10-1 all-time against Bryant. Up next, conference play begins against USF with a three-game series at home starting Friday at 2 p.m.