Softball overcomes offensive struggle in win over UMass

Jill Stockley fires off a pitch during the Huskies 7-1 victory over UMass Amherst at Burrill Family Field on Tuesday afternoon. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus)

The UConn softball team beat UMass 7-1 in a nonconference matchup at Burrill Family Field Tuesday, halting a three-game losing streak. Jill Stockley pitched six innings in the win.

UConn (15-22, 1-7 American) recorded six hits from six different players in the win, but were aided by the inconsistency of UMass pitcher Candace Denis. Kelli Bates drove in the Huskies’ first two runs in the second inning. Valerie Sadowl, Taylor Townsend and Ryne Nakama each recorded RBIs of their own.

“Our focus yesterday in practice was RBI hitting,” head coach Jen McIntyre said, “and to see it start in the second inning for us was huge.”

The game fell apart for UMass (19-19, 8-3 Atlantic 10) thanks, in part, to a bases-loaded walk, a hit by pitch and two illegal pitches. All together, these contributed four runs to UConn’s total.

Katie Koshes came in to close out the game in the seventh, pitching a scoreless inning. She reached a milestone – 100 strikeouts on the season – with the two she added Tuesday.

Coming into Tuesday’s game, the Huskies had stranded 21 runners over the course of a weekend series against East Carolina. They were outscored 10-2 as their American Athletic Conference record fell to 1-7.

Pitching has been inconsistent for the Huskies since Houston swept them two weekends ago. The final game of that series ended in five innings after UConn gave up 22 unanswered runs. All five UConn pitchers were used, including Koshes as the starter and closer.

Following that loss, Stockley pitched a complete game effort in UConn’s first home game of the season. She followed it with another complete game against East Carolina Friday, but the offense was unable to generate the runs necessary to win.

Koshes got the start in Thursday’s game against the Pirates, and gave up four runs in just 2.2 innings. Chelsea Eckert came in to pitch scoreless relief and earned herself the start Saturday. Eckert threw a complete game, giving up just two runs. However, the UConn offense continued to struggle and scored only once in the loss to East Carolina.


Rachel Schaefer is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at rachel.schaefer@uconn.edu.