UConn played three close games against USF on Thursday and Friday, but ultimately dropped all three to the first place team in the conference.
USF’s (35-15) ace, Georgina Corrick, was the player of the series. She pitched complete-game shutouts in games one and three, and recorded the final two outs of game two. Corrick recorded a grand total of 14.2 shutout innings pitched, giving up just nine hits and one walk while striking out 28 of the 53 batters she faced.
“She [Corrick] can literally hit a spot wherever she wants whenever she wants,” UConn (16-27) head coach Jen McIntyre said. “She’s the real deal.”
Jill Stockley went up against Corrick in game one on Thursday afternoon in cold, rainy weather. Stockley pitched well, throwing all seven innings and giving up seven hits and five walks with five strikeouts. Though the Huskies lost 4-0, only one of those runs was earned, as UConn’s typically solid defense surrendered four errors.
“It was nice to have [Stockley] back out there, she did a great job,” McIntyre said. “She kept them off balance and mixed speeds well, we just need to play better defense behind her.”
UConn had a hard time getting baserunners of their own, and USF didn’t do them any favors. Corrick only gave up five hits and didn’t walk anybody, while the defense behind her didn’t make any errors.
Briana Marcelino and Alexis Lemus each went 2-for-3 for the Huskies, with Devon Casazza also contributing a hit. Casazza also had a great game behind the plate, gunning down two would-be base-stealers.
UConn fell in game two of the doubleheader 5-3. The series was originally scheduled to take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but due to expected inclement weather, Saturday’s game was moved to Thursday.
Nicole Doyle got the start on the rubber for USF, with Marybeth Olson pitching for UConn. Olson got off to a rocky start, giving up a walk and a homerun in the first inning to give USF a 2-0 lead. She walked the bases loaded right after, but pitched her way out of it to limit the damage.
Olson settled in after the first, giving up no more earned runs until the seventh inning (though she gave up one unearned in the fourth). She threw 6.1 innings, giving up four earned (five total) runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out seven. Koshes threw the final 0.2 innings in relief, giving up one hit and striking out one batter.
With UConn trailing 3-0 in the fourth, the Huskies broke into the run column for the first time of the series. With no one on, Olivia Sappington sent a 1-1 pitch over the right field fence to put UConn on the board.
Later in the inning, Lemus hit a two-out double and scored on a clutch single by catcher Maura Glatczak. Glatczak also kept up the good work behind the plate by hosing down the only attempted base-stealer of the game in the top of the fifth.
“Devon set the tone in the first game, she did a great job shutting the run game down. Maura came in the second game and did a great job doing the same thing. It was nice to keep them off of the bases,” McIntyre said.
The score remained 3-2 going into the seventh, but the Bulls had insurance-runs on their mind. Three doubles and a wild pitch led to two USF runs, extending their lead to 5-2.
In the bottom half, UConn loaded the bases with one out on relief pitcher Cheyenne Eggens. USF then went to Corrick to get the final two outs. She got Sappington to hit a sacrifice fly to score Reese Guevarra from third for the second out of the inning. The Huskies cut the score to 5-3, but had just one out left to work with.
With runners on first and second, Kiwi McDaniel hit an infield single that squirted away. Ashley Esty tried to score from second, but was thrown out at the plate for the final out of the game.
Friday’s game featured another Corrick versus Stockley matchup, and both pitchers were dealing. Corrick threw another complete-game shutout, giving up three hits and one walk with 13 strikeouts in the 1-0 victory.
After giving up a single to USF’s leadoff batter Meghan Sheehan in the first inning, the Huskies did not give up another hit for the rest of the game. Due to a throwing error on Stockley and a fielding error by Esty in center field, Sheehan scored to make the score 1-0.
In the top of the fourth, Stockley walked the bases loaded with one out. Olson then came in for relief, ending Stockley’s game with 3.1 innings pitched, one hit, four walks and one strikeout.
Olson got Megan Pierro to hit a fly ball to left field, on which pinch-runner Jaycie Michael tried to tag-up and score from third. Leftfielder Kelli Bates ran in on it, caught the fly and threw Michael out at the plate to end the inning.
Olson went on to finish the game, pitching 3.2 innings, giving up no hits, one walk and striking out two. However, the first inning made all of the difference in this game, as the Huskies went on to lose.
Since the upcoming double-header against Hofstra has been canceled, UConn will play their next games next weekend against ECU on the road. They will play a three-game series over Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Sean Janos is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.