UConn shutout Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) Tuesday afternoon, taking the 6-0 victory behind strong performances from pitchers Marybeth Olson and Katie Koshes.
Olson started the game, striking out nine through five innings and allowing just three hits and one walk. She has been a phenom in her sophomore season, sporting a sub-2.00 ERA and ranking in the top five in the conference in strikeouts (131). Olson is now up to double-digit wins on the season, improving her record to 10-11.
Katie Koshes pitched the final two innings out of the bullpen, giving up just three hits and two walks. She managed to pitch her way out of jams in the sixth and seventh innings despite some controversial illegal pitch calls.
“He called a couple of illegal pitches and she (Koshes) just needed to make a small adjustment,” head coach Jen McIntyre said.
Much of CCSU’s offense comes from their aggressiveness on the bases. They are 43 for 49 on stolen base attempts through 33 games this season. According to McIntyre, their success on offense rather than a defensive adjustment was the primary reason the Huskies were able to shut the Blue Devils down on the bases.
“I think our offense actually is what helped shut it down. It’s tough to take a lot of chances with a big gap in the score. I was proud of our offense to make adjustments early and keep attacking,” McIntyre said.
CCSU didn’t want to give the red-hot Briana Marcelino anything to hit all game, walking her three times. First baseman Kiwi McDaniel was able to punish Central by driving in the majority of the Huskies’ runs. She went two for four with four RBIs.
“She’s (McDaniel) been seeing the ball really well and has been able to pick her pitches as of late,” McIntyre said.
Centerfielder Ashley Esty did a great job of setting the table by going three for four with two runs scored, while also contributing an RBI.
UConn has Wednesday off before a tough three-game series against USF. USF leads the AAC with a 10-2 conference record, 32-15 overall. They have won nine of their last 10 games, sweeping conference foes Houston, ECU and UCF while losing to No. 6 Florida. Games one and two will be Thursday and Friday at 3 p.m., and game three will be Saturday at 10 a.m.
Sean Janos is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.