The UConn softball team bounced back in a big way over the weekend, sweeping East Carolina in three straight games on the road. With the offense firing on all cylinders and the pitching setting down pirates one after another, it was perhaps the most dominant weekend the Huskies had all season.
Game 1 was pitched by ace Marybeth Olson, who had another stellar outing to propel the Huskies to a 10-3 victory. She really only had one bad inning, giving up three runs on three hits in the fourth. In the other six innings she pitched, ECU only managed to get one hit, a lone single in the third. Olson also finished the game with seven strikeouts and no walks to round out her complete game effort.
The Huskies had a huge day at the plate, getting their 10 runs thanks to 14 hits and seven walks. Catcher Maura Glatczak got things going in the second inning, blasting a two-run home run to put the Huskies on the board, her first of the season. They tacked on one more run in the third and another in the fourth before Reese Guevarra hit her fourth long-ball of the season to put the Huskies up 6-3 in the fifth. They would score four more in the seventh, aided by a Kiwi McDaniel 3-run bomb to essentially put the game away.
They blew out the Pirates again on Saturday in Game 2, scoring seven runs while senior Jill Stockley completely shut down the opposing batters. In stark contrast to the previous game, they got each of their seven runs by the way of small-ball, not going deep once. Instead, a pair of RBI doubles and a pair of RBI singles (and a bases-loaded walk) proved that they don’t rely on the long-ball.
Stockley, who missed a significant amount of time due to injury, picked up her first win since the March 16. She held the Pirates scoreless through six innings, and even though ECU managed to get two runners across in the bottom of the seventh, it was too little, too late.
It was more of the same in Game 3 on Sunday, with the Huskies scoring eight runs and the pitching having an overall good day. They played some small-ball once again, this time getting seven of their eight runs all from singles, with the eighth (actually the first in the game) coming off a sacrifice fly.
Starter Katie Koshes was in the midst of a great day, giving up just one run through six innings before getting into some trouble in the seventh. After retiring the first batter, she let the next two on thanks to a single and a hit-by-pitch before giving up a 3-run home run to cut the Huskies lead to four. She stayed on for one more batter but walked her on four straight pitches. Koshes was then pulled for Stockley, who proceeded to walk the first two batters she faced to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate with one out. She got the first batter to pop-up on the first pitch and then took the next to a 3-2 count before striking her out to end the game.
The Huskies now improve to 19-27 on the season and 7-11 in conference, with their last four games of the season coming this week. They are all home, starting with a Tuesday matchup versus Quinnipiac and then a three-game weekend series with Tulsa to close out the season.
Jorge Eckardt is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.