UConn softball opened their season with a successful weekend in Jacksonville, Florida this Friday through Sunday, going 3-2 in the Jacksonville Softball Tournament against Army, Jacksonville and Jacksonville State.
“The team really settled in this weekend, finding out who they are and what they can turn in to,” head coach Jen McIntyre said.
Day one of the tournament didn’t exactly go as the Huskies planned, they lost both games of the double-header, 3-0 to Army and 1-0 to Jacksonville.
“Tough outcomes, but I think we learned a lot today,” McIntyre said. The hitters got more comfortable as the day went on which is usually pretty typical at the start of the season.”
UConn received good pitching performances during both games, junior Jill Stockley started against Army and held them scoreless for four innings until allowing three runs in the fifth. This brought in Marybeth Olson for her debut in the white and blue and she shut the Black Knights out for the rest of the game.
The Huskies failed to give their pitching staff the run support they needed, stranding 11 runners on base.
The game against Jacksonville was a similar story. This time it was sophomore Katie Koshes who played well, pitching for 3.1 innings and only giving up a single hit. Olson was stellar in relief once again and the game went into extras tied at zero, where a tournament rule that places an automatic player on second base, whom the Dolphins promptly sac-bunted home.
The second day of the tournament featured a huge improvement from the Huskies, as they took both games from Jacksonville State and Jacksonville.
UConn had their first offensive explosion of the year on Saturday, beating Jacksonville State 7-4, led by sophomore duo Ashlee Dahman and Devon Casazza, who both had multi-hit games.
Casazza got on base every time she stepped up to the plate, going 2-3 two RBI and a walk with the bases loaded.
Jacksonville State pitchers struggled to control the ball all night, walking the Huskies nine different times, including the leadoff batter in every inning.
UConn’s bats came alive again in the second game of the day, led by sophomore Kiwi McDaniel who exploded, going three-for-three with a double and two singles. McDaniel currently leads the Huskies in hits with six on the weekend.
UConn capped off the weekend by grinding out a 2-1 win over Army, sealed by a 2-out RBI single from senior Emma Stanley to score the go-ahead run in the seventh frame.
Koshes and Olson combined for another gem, combining to let up only six hits, one walk, and one run through seven innings pitched.
The Huskies will be back in action this Saturday as they travel to South Carolina to take part in the Coastal Carolina Invitational.
Luke Swanson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.