An RBI-double into the gap from Boston College’s Emme Martinez in the top of the eighth inning would be too much for UConn softball after a tough mid-week matchup.
UConn was taken down by BC after eight innings of play, by the score of 5-4. The back-and-forth matchup did not feature a single half inning in which multiple runs were scored.
“I was really proud of the offense; I thought they fought from behind a couple times,” said head coach Jen McIntyre. “We had a couple big home runs from (Briana Marcelino) and from (Olivia Sappington) early on in the game. It set the tone; I was really pleased with the offense today.”
BC (12-23, 3-9 ACC) kicked off the scoring as starter Jill Stockley ran into trouble early and hit Jenna Ergle with the bases loaded in the first inning. UConn (15-21, 4-5 The American) was able to respond right away, as they did all game long, with a sacrifice fly from Olivia Sappington in the bottom half of the inning.
After giving up unearned runs in the second, UConn knotted it up in the fourth on the back of a Sappington’s leadoff home run to dead center. This was her third of the season, tying her with Carli Cutler and Reese Guevarra for second on the team.
Another Ergle RBI gave the Eagles the lead in the fifth as Jules Trevino came around on her sacrifice fly.
The American Player of the Week Briana Marcelino added to her resume with her eighth blast of the year in the bottom of the fifth, tying the game 3-3. Coming into today, she sat in second place in the conference in home runs, but this bomb tied her with Wichita’s Madison Perrigan for the lead.
Things got interesting in the seventh as Olson could not handle an infield single from Allyson Moore and pinch runner Britney Richardson came around to score two batters later on Ellie Mataya’s single.
Cutler would score in the bottom half of the seventh on a double from second basemen Alexis Lemus to keep the Huskies alive. However, they would not be able to survive the double from Ergle in the top of the eighth.
After a long absence due to injury, Stockley threw three innings from the circle at Burrill Family Field. She gave up two unearned runs on five hits, walked one and struck out one.
“Yes, she has been battling through some things,” said McIntyre on Stockley’s health. “It was nice to get her a couple of innings today and keep an eye on her pitch count. Marybeth has done an unbelievable job all year and continued to do the same when she came in today.”
In relief of Stockley, The American Pitcher of the Week last week Marybeth Olson came on to fire five innings of three run ball. Despite getting the loss, she kept UConn in the game in the later innings.
BC coming into Tuesday’s game were a combined 25-for-40 on stolen base attempts, but even with their lack of success they were still aggressive. They often took an extra base throughout the matchup and stole two bases in the third inning.
“They are very aggressive offensively,” said McIntyre. “We got ourselves in positions to make plays. We didn’t stick one here at the plate that I thought we had an out coming from left field, but that’s what speed does. Speed puts pressure on the defense and I thought they did a nice job with that today.”
As McIntyre said, speed puts pressure on the defense, and this UConn defense showed a potential weakness as they committed four errors throughout the game. Of the five runs given up, just one of them was earned, so the errors costed them.
UConn will play conference opponent Houston away this weekend and will have games at 6 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
Mike Mavredakis is a campus correspondent for the Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .