Sophomore Kiwi McDaniel jacked a three-run homer to right field in the bottom of the sixth, bringing UConn within one run of visiting Wichita State, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Shockers’ four-run advantage and the Huskies dropped their seventh game in a row by a score of 4-3.
Freshman catcher Maura Glatczak gave UConn a chance to tie the game up in the bottom of the seventh with a blooper single over the head of the third baseman. Glatczak moved into scoring position on a wild pitch, placing the tying run in scoring position, but the magic just wasn’t there in the rest of the inning.
Second baseman Ryne Nakama flew out, center-fielder Reese Guevarra was punched out on a bunt attempt and pinch-hitter Hollis Wivell slapped a hard-hit grounder that was fielded by the second-baseman to end the game.
UConn has started out 0-6 in conference play in series against arguably the top two teams in the AAC. Wichita State (4-2, 21-12) boasts the best RPI in the conference and last week’s opponent USF (5-1, 27-13) holds the best overall and conference record in the league.
“We know we’re in the toughest part of our schedule, we’re gonna face the top of the conference first,” head coach Jen McIntyre said. “I tell them all the time it’s not about where you start, it’s about where you finish.”
UConn starter Jill Stockley recovered from a shaky third inning in which she gave up two hits and two runs to pitch a very good outing. Stockley only struck out two Shockers, but was retiring them by fly-out seemingly every pitch, with her sizzling fastball and back-breaking change-up.
“Jill mixed speeds well, to face a team in the third game of the series when they’re going nine, 10, 11 times through the batting order, for her to shut them down like that, I think she did a really good job,” McIntyre said.
What did the Huskies in was sloppy fielding, with errors in the third and sixth leading to the other two Wichita State runs.
Softball will look to break out of their slump as they will face the Bryant Bulldogs in midweek action, 4:00 p.m. Tuesday at Burrill Family Field.
Luke Swanson is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.