The Huskies won their second straight conference series this weekend, taking two out of three from the Memphis Tigers. If not for the brilliance of star pitcher Marybeth Olson, though, it could have been much different.
Olson appeared in all three games this weekend for the Huskies, tossing 15 innings and giving up six runs — five earned — on nine hits.
Olson tossed a complete game Friday, giving up just two earned runs as the Huskies demolished the Tigers 11-3, causing the game to end after just five innings.
She started again Saturday, this time coming in for relief after the Tigers put up five runs on starter Katie Koshes through four innings. Thanks to a phenomenal three scoreless innings from Olson where she struck out eight of the 11 batters she faced, the Huskies were able to stage a comeback and win 6-5.
Olson was back in the circle for a third straight day Sunday, and she was once again great. While she did give up two long balls, the three runs that the Tigers got off them would be the only she would surrender the entire game. Unfortunately for her, the Huskies bats were unable to complete another comeback, and they ultimately lost 3-1.
In a little over 48 hours, Olson fired the ball in to home plate 210 times. She threw over twice as many pitches as any other Husky pitcher and was out there for almost four times as many innings.
This has been a common theme for the Huskies recently, as last weekend in Wichita, Olson also carried a large portion of the workload.
Like the Memphis series, she pitched in all three games, with the Huskies winning the first two and losing the third. She threw an even 200 pitches through 10.2 innings and gave up five earned runs, though all five came in game three.
Her speedy fastball combined with an off-speed pitch that can get even the best hitters lunging and their knees buckling, Olson has turned into a deadly foe in only her sophomore season.
If UConn wants to keep this momentum they built up, winning six of their last nine games, they will need Marybeth Olson to keep dealing.
Jorge Eckardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.