Softball: Late comeback falls short as UConn falls short at Boston College

4-5-2023 Softball v UMass by Izzi Barton. The Huskies claim a victory over UMass 5-0 on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at Burrell Family Field in Storrs. The Huskies will return on Friday, April 7 at 6:00 p.m.

The UConn Huskies softball team (25-11, 12-3) traveled to Chestnut Hill to take on Boston College (19-19), where the Eagles got back to .500, holding off Connecticut 4-3. 

Pitcher Payton Kinney (Jr.) was on the mound to start the game but allowed outfielder Aleyah Terrell (Fr.) to score from third. However, with only one out, the Huskies kept third baseman Abigail Knight (Sr.) 90 feet away from scoring. 

With Meghan O’Neil (Sr.) on the mound, Knight singled to left field, allowing Terrell and second baseman Erika Andal (Jr.) to cross home plate, giving Boston College a 3-0 lead through two innings. 

Pinch-hitting for left fielder Kaitlyn Kibling (Fr.), Makenzie Mason (Jr.) walked, setting right fielder Lexi Hastings (So.) up to drive Mason in on a triple in the top of the third inning, extending her on-base streak to 25 games. 

Despite a runner 90 feet from home plate with just one out, the Huskies could not drive Hastings in, grounding and striking out respectively. 

With shortstop Jana Sanden (Jr.) at third base, first baseman Taylor Zatyk (Jr.) had a chance to cut the Huskies’ deficit to two but struck out swinging to end the inning. 

In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Eagles went 1-2-3, including a nice ground out play by second baseman Savannah Ring (Fr.) to end the inning. 

O’Neil would shut down the Eagles’ offense for the next few innings but was not the best pitcher in Wednesday’s game. Boston College’s Abby Dunning (So.) pitched a complete game, allowing just three hits and striking out nine batters, earning her ninth win of the season while O’Neil dropped to 4-4. 

The Huskies’ offense did the most damage in the top of the seventh inning. Third baseman Haley Coupal (Fr.) got on base with a single, followed by pinch-hitter Lauren Benson (Jr.) reaching on a fielder’s choice, resulting in Coupal being out at second. 

With Benson at second thanks to a wild pitch, Hastings hit a two-run blast to center field to tie the game at three runs each. 

However, that was the last of Connecticut’s scoring, with catcher Grace Jenkins (Fr.) striking out to end the inning. 

In the bottom of the seventh inning, O’Neil allowed the first two batters to get on base on a single and a walk, respectively. With a runner in scoring position, head coach Laura Valentino put freshman Hope Jenkins on the mound with no outs. 

Shortstop Nicole Giery (Jr.) singled up the middle, allowing pinch runner Alexis Dale (So.) to score, giving the Eagles a 4-3 win on a walk-off. 

Hastings was the top offensive weapon for the Huskies with two hits, each of them scoring runs. 

UConn heads back to Storrs this weekend for a three-game series against Butler University. 

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