The UConn softball team broke their four-game losing streak this weekend, winning their first conference series of the year.
The Huskies took the first of the three games, defeating the Shockers 4-0 on the back of a Marybeth Olson five-hit shutout. She was lights out, and successfully managed to work out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh to secure their first conference win of the season.
UConn got all of their offense from the longball, with Briana Marcelino and Olivia Sappington each hitting 2-run home runs. The longball is something they became quite familiar with over the next two games.
The Huskies also took game two, once again hitting two home runs and getting another stellar performance from their starter. This time, it was Katie Koshes, who lasted 5.2 innings and gave up two runs on just four hits. After getting pulled in the sixth, Olson made her second appearance of the series, and after giving up a single to the first batter she retired the next four Wichita batters to close out the game.
Their offense this time came from Kiwi McDaniel, who blasted a home run to right field for her first of the year, and Sappington, who hit another two-run home run.
However, the Huskies were unable to complete the sweep, and despite putting up their most runs of the series in the third game they fell to the Shockers 8-6.
It was Marybeth Olson who got the start for the Huskies, and after already pitching over eight innings in the previous 24 hours, was asked to do even more. The Shockers finally appeared to have figured her out, scoring two runs in the first and three in the third, knocking her out of the game after only recording one out. However, the Shockers’ third-inning onslaught did not end there, as they would add three more runs against freshman Kylie Gavitt to make it 8-0.
To the Huskies’ credit, they didn’t quit. The combination of Gavitt and Koshes would allow the Shockers just two hits the rest of the game, and the UConn bats continued to slug. Marcelino hit another home run, and Sappington continued her hot weekend with an RBI double, as the Huskies got three back in the fourth. They kept it coming in the fifth, as Marcelino hit yet another bomb, this time driving in three.
That would be it, however, as the Huskies were held scoreless for the rest of the game.
The Huskies almost doubled their season home run total, driving it up to 14 from eight. This was thanks to Marcelino, who doubled her total and now had six on the year, and Sappington and McDaniel, who each recorded their first (and in Sappington’s case second as well) of the season.
The Huskies will be back in action Tuesday, where they take on the Hartford Hawks in West Hartford before kicking off a five game homestand on Wednesday, where they will play UMass, Memphis and Boston College.
Jorge Eckardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.