Softball: Huskies beat Johnnies midweek, Georgetown in a weekend series

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It was a week in the Big East for the University of Connecticut softball team. The Huskies first wrapped up their series with the Red Storm, one that initially started on Friday and involved UConn run-ruling the Johnnies twice. 

The Huskies wasted no time as Brianna Marcelino led off the game with a home run, her second of the season. UConn threatened with more damage in the top of the third as Aziah James singled and stole second while Marcelino walked. Rosie Garcia singled in two runs with the bases loaded and Jana Sanden singled in Reese Guevarra to put the Huskies up 4-0. 

No one got on base until the top of the sixth when Sanden reached on a fielding error and got to second. Hollis Wivell pinch-ran and scored on a Sami Barnett single to make it 5-0. Lexi Hastings singled to put runners on the corners with one out, but no one else touched home plate. 

London Jarrard and Marcelino exchanged doubles while Guevarra stole her third base in the top of the seventh, but both teams left their runners stranded. Delaney Nagy relieved Elise Sokolsky in the bottom of the seventh and struck out three batters as the Huskies swept the Red Storm 5-0. 

Sokolsky went six innings and struck out five. Carolina Zamudio went the distance for the Johnnies, allowing five runs (two earned) with seven punchouts. 

After a five-day stay in Queens, the Huskies headed down to Washington, D.C. to take on the Georgetown Hoyas for the first time since returning to the Big East. 

Georgetown wanted to keep their momentum going after beating the Creighton Blue Jays, but the Huskies struck first as Hastings scored on a sacrifice fly from Olivia Sappington and then heated up in the fourth as Hastings singled in Barnett after she hit a leadoff double. With Hastings aboard, Sappington hit a two-run home run, her third of the season, to extend the lead to 4-0. 

Georgetown’s Savannah Jones hit a leadoff home run to center field in the bottom half, but the Huskies answered in the top of the fifth as Marcelino homered for the second time in as many games. Guevarra scored on an error to make it a two-run inning for UConn. 

Georgetown kept hitting, but the Huskies kept scoring. Hastings stole her 13th base of the season and scored when Sappington ripped a double for her fourth RBI of the game to put the Huskies up 7-1. 

Sokolsky relieved Meghan O’Neil in the bottom of the sixth and allowed two runs from Kayla Dunn and Cassie Henning on consecutive at-bats. Sokolsky recovered and shut down the next four Hoya hitters as the Huskies took the opening game 7-3. 

O’Neil went five innings, allowing one run on three hits with four strikeouts. Sokolsky picked up the win in relief, allowing two runs on two hits with two strikeouts. 

Less than 16 hours later, the Huskies got back to work. UConn did not get on the board first this time, as Georgetown’s Kiki Besnard homered to left center in the bottom of the third inning.  

After two close opportunities by UConn in the fourth and fifth, Georgetown took over the bottom of the fifth. Within four at-bats, Mae Forshey singled in a run, Jones brought in another via a fielding error and Abby Smith doubled in two of her own to make it a 5-0 game.  

Sanden got the Huskies on the board in the top of the sixth with her fourth home run of the season to make it 5-2. Georgetown loaded the bases in the bottom half, but Jones flew out to keep the Huskies within three. 

Down to their last three outs, James and Marcelino singled to give the Huskies a prime opportunity to rally. Guevarra, the defending Big East Player of the Week, launched a three-run home run to tie the game at five. UConn got two more runners on, but could not bring either of them home. 

The Huskies were competing for extra innings, but Smith singled and Alyssa Chavez hit a walk-off two-run home run, her sixth of the season, to give the Hoyas the 7-5 victory.  

Julia Parker pitched 6.1 innings and got a no-decision, allowing five runs and striking out five. Nagy took the loss for the Huskies, allowing two runs on three hits in 2.1 innings. 

The Huskies got to work early in the rubber match. After getting two runners on in the first inning, Garcia homered to deep left field in the second to give the Huskies the 1-0 advantage. 

Both teams had great opportunities to score runs in the third inning. UConn hit two consecutive singles, but Guevarra was tagged out on the second single from Hastings. Georgetown got a runner to third base in the bottom half, but could not bring her home. 

Garcia was not done raking at the plate yet, hitting her second home run of the game in the fourth inning following a Barnett single to make it a 3-0 ballgame. The Huskies added one more run in the fifth as Barnett singled in Guevarra from second base. 

UConn gave themselves an opportunity in the top of the seventh to tack on some insurance runs, but with the bases loaded, Sanden struck out and Garcia flew out to keep the Husky lead at four runs. Marybeth Olson entered in relief of O’Neil with the bases loaded and struck out Jones swinging to secure the 4-0 victory. 

O’Neil recorded all but one out, surrendering eight hits and striking out two for her fifth win of the season. Dunn went 4.1 innings for Georgetown, allowing four runs on six hits with seven punchouts. 

The Huskies (14-11, 5-1 Big East) have their home opener on Wednesday, March 23, against the Army Black Knights at 3 p.m. on ESPN+. Live stats will be provided by StatBroadcast. 

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