UConn softball had another up and down tournament at the Battle At the Beach hosted by Coastal Carolina, going 2-2 on the weekend and improving their 2018 record to 5-4.
The Huskies got shut out in both games on Saturday, losing to Kent State 10-0 and to Coastal Carolina 6-0, then turned around and shut out both opponents on Sunday, beating Robert Morris 1-0 and Rider 3-0.
It was a pitchers’ duel for the first five minutes of action Saturday morning, as Kent State led UConn 1-0 going into the fifth. Then Flashes opened up the floodgates, lighting starting pitcher Katie Koshes up for three runs in the third and six in the seventh and slamming the door on the Huskies and to pack it on, UConn had four errors that resulted in five unearned runs.
The offense wasn’t offering Koshes any help either, as Kent State starter Madi Huck pitched a complete game, allowing only five hits on the day.
The second game of the day against host Coastal Carolina was a similar story for the Huskies. Koshes only had a few blemishes on her stat line, giving up four hits and striking out 13 Chanticleers on the day. Unfortunately, three of those four hits were home runs, including a grand slam by Coastal slugger Courtney Dean in the second inning, her first of two on the day that put UConn in an early hole.
The one bright spot from Saturday came from senior infielder Emma Stanley, who went 5-6 on the day, providing the bulk of the Huskies’ offense.
Just like the last weekend, UConn bounced back on the second day of the tournament, this time shutting out Robert Morris and Rider.
Fearless freshman Marybeth Olson continued a stellar start to her college career, pitching seven scoreless innings against Robert Morris, striking out nine batters and only allowing one walk on the day. Olson has a 0.4 ERA on the year and has only walked one batter to 21 strikeouts through 17 innings pitched.
UConn’s bats struggled once again to produce runs with only three hits on the day, but sophomore catcher Devon Casazza came through in the clutch with a solo home run in the second inning that was all the Huskies needed to get by Robert Morris.
The Huskies’ offense finally woke up in the second game of the doubleheader, as they hung three runs on five hits against Rider. Kiwi McDaniel provided the first run for the Huskies on an RBI groundout that scored Stanley, who put a cherry on top of her great tournament going one for three with a game.
UConn received a huge boost from the pitching once again as veteran Chelsea Eckert pitched a complete game shutout, holding the Broncos to just four hits with a stellar 11-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The Huskies will be back in action on Friday at 12:15 p.m. with a huge weekend of action, featuring in a five game tournament hosted by Florida Gulf Coast.
Luke Swanson is staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.