It was not the best weekend for UConn softball, but they did manage to snap an almost month-long drought where they seemingly couldn’t buy a win.
They started the weekend off on the wrong foot, falling to the California State University Northridge Matadors 6-3. The Matadors jumped all over starting pitcher Katie Koshes, and thanks to two errors from center fielder Kelli Bates, they managed to get three runs across the plate in the bottom of the first.
That would be all for both Koshes and Bates, as in the bottom of the second, Marybeth Olson was brought on to pitch and Aziah James took over in center field.
After several scoreless innings, the Huskies managed to scratch their way into the board in the top of the fourth after Ashley Esty led off the inning with a triple and later scored on an Olivia Sappington groundout. Then, in the top of the fifth, UConn tied the game, taking full advantage of an error that got James on base. James would go on to score on a Briana Marcelino double, and Marcelino followed suit thanks to a double from Carli Cutler.
However, they were not able to celebrate for long, as in the bottom of the inning Olson would give up a walk, three hits and a three-run home run. The Matadors were able to hold the Huskies scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings to close out the game.
It only got worse in the second game of the day, this time against California State University at Fullerton. Here, the Huskies fell 11-3 in only five innings of action. The Huskies went down big early and were trailing 10-0 after just three innings.
Jill Stockley, Olson and Koshes each took the mound for this one, giving up five, three and three earned runs respectively. They did get on the board in the top of the fifth thanks to a Ashlee Dahman three-run home run, but by that point it was too little too late.
After their lone game on Saturday against Fresno State was cancelled, the Huskies were back in action on Sunday as they took on the University of New Mexico Lobos.
The Huskies got on the board first when Reese Guevarra smacked her first home run of the year, putting UConn up 1-0. They extended their lead to two in the bottom of the sixth, when Carissa Brizzi singled through the right side to drive in James.
They got into a bit of trouble in the top of the seventh, however, when the Lobos had back-to-back hits to start the inning, placing runners at second and third with no outs. This prompted starting pitcher Olson, who had held the Lobos scoreless for six innings, to be pulled for Koshes. After a sacrifice fly drove in the first run, Koshes retired two of the final three batters to close out the game and strand two runners on base.
This was the Huskies fourth win of the season and their first since Feb. 9.
The Huskies had one more game to play afterwards. They took on the No.2 and 17-1 UCLA Bruins.
They fought hard, and starting pitcher Stockley managed to hold the Bruins scoreless for the first four innings. However, they plated a pair in the top of the fifth to take the lead and another two in the top of the seventh, while the UCLA pitching duo of Holly Azevedo and Rachel Garcia held UConn to no runs and just one hit over seven innings of work.
If not for an Alexis Lemus single in the bottom of the second, the Huskies very well could have been no-hit.
Jorge Eckardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.