Softball: Huskies have up and down weekend on the Gulf Coast

Carli Cuter (pictured) and the Huskies had another up-and-down weekend at Florida Gulf Coat's Tournament recently (File Photo/The Daily Campus)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: UConn softball gets blown away in a doubleheader on the first day of a tournament, then turns around and shuts down both opponents on the next day. The Huskies have done that on the last two weekends and they did it again this weekend in the Florida Gulf Coast Softball tournament, going 2-3 on the weekend to get to 7-7 overall.

UConn lost both games on Friday, 5-4 to Southern Illinois and 8-3 to FGCU, came back with two victories on Saturday, 8-1 against Wright State and 2-1 against Stony Brook, then fell again to FGCU 2-1 in extra innings on Saturday.

UConn had no problem hitting the ball on Friday, as five different players had multi-hit games, five of them extra-base hits, but had trouble converting them into runs, leaving 13 on base in the first game.

The Huskies pushed Southern Illinois to extra innings in the first game of the day, but eventually fell in the 10th as the Salukis went up two in the top of the inning on an RBI double by Jenn Jansen. Huskies pinch hitter Chloe Kerns tried to get a two-out rally going with an RBI grounder in the bottom of the inning, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Salukis.

Freshman designated hitter Olivia Sappington’s birthday was on Friday, and she celebrated it in style, going 2-3 on the day with a double and a RBI single, getting on base four times in total.

Sappington was the lone, bright spot in UConn’s order in the second game as well, continuing her birthday celebration with three hits in three at-bats, slapping two singles on the day and a solo shot in the first inning to give the Huskies a short-lived lead.

UConn pitching struggled in the second game, giving up six walks and seven hits on the day. Starter Katie Koshes was pulled during a rough second inning, where she gave up three singles and three walks to score five runs.

The Huskies couldn’t get much going against FGCU’s undefeated starter Riley Randolph, who fanned seven on the way to her fourth straight win.

UConn’s fortunes turned around on Saturday, whupping Wright State by a score of 8-1. The Huskies had a season high 11 hits by 11 different batters in a balanced offensive effort. Starting pitcher Jill Stockley gave up 10 hits, but held it together to earn the complete game win.

The Huskies kept rolling in the second game of the day, bolstered by another awesome performance by freshman pitcher Marybeth Olson. The first-year standout fanned 10 and gave up no walks and only one earned run in her third win of the season.

UConn opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, as Sappington took advantage of an error by the shortstop to get home. Stony Brook responded with a sacrifice fly in the third to tie it up, but the Huskies scored the go-ahead run in the fifth, as Carly Cutler had an RBI groundout to put UConn on tip.

The Huskies got one more shot at FGCU on Sunday to take revenge for their beatdown earlier in the weekend and pushed them to the brink, only falling 2-1 in extra innings to the hosting Eagles.

It was a pitchers’ duel from the start, as Stockley continued her savvy play from Friday, pitching a complete game and only allowing a run on a triple in the bottom of the second, then the walk-off run on a fielder's’ choice in the bottom of the eighth. UConn’s lone run came in the top of the sixth, as designated hitter Maura Glatczak hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Emma Stanley.

You can catch UConn in action again this Friday at 1:00 p.m., as they take on Georgia State in Atlanta to kick off the I-75 challenge