Softball: UConn's pitching staff has led Huskies to their winning streak over opponents
After handily defeating Bryant on Tuesday, the UConn softball team continued their winning ways with a 4-2 victory over UMass - thanks to a quality effort from the entire UConn pitching staff.
"We've got conference games coming up so we figured we would pitch by committee today (and) to just keep showing (UMass) different things," coach Karen Mullins said.
Katelyn Callahan started in the circle for the Huskies, facing two batters and surrendering a run before being pulled in favor of Alyson Ambler. Ambler shut the door in the first and proceeded to throw two more scoreless innings to pick up her first win of the season.
Junior Lauren Duggan relieved Ambler in the top of the fourth and successfully protected UConn's 3-1 lead, scattering three hits over two innings and limiting UMass to only one run.
Kayla Doty came in to relieve Duggan and get the final six outs for the Huskies, walking only one and giving up two hits. Mullins said that Doty's shutout two-inning performance is a testament to her tremendous development over the course of this season.
"She's pitched a lot of innings as a freshman, and we just see her getting better and better and becoming more seasoned. We've been really pleased with her last couple outings," Mullins said.
The freshman from Ghent, N.Y. was the New York State Player of the Year twice, and figures to be an integral part of the Huskies' future. Doty and the Huskies will lose Callahan after this season, leaving UConn with three experienced pitchers for next season. Doty will be relied on even more next season to turn in more quality starts and build off of her freshman campaign, during which she is currently 3-6 with a 6.16 ERA and second on the team with 75 innings pitched.
As the Huskies head into their final stretch of conference games, all four pitchers will need to be ready to contribute either as a starter or reliever. One of the pitchers who has excelled in relief all season is Ambler, who has come in relief in 15 out her 16 appearances. Ambler's 4.25 ERA is the lowest on the team, and her effectiveness with runners on base will be crucial to UConn's success in conference play.
The Huskies get back into American Athletic Conference play with a three-game weekend series against Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J.
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