Softball: UConn looks to continue their win streak against Louisville
Junior pitcher Lauren Duggan (16) looks to lead UConn past Louisville this weekend. The Huskies beat Fairfield 5-3 Thursday afternoon due to their excellence in pitching from freshman Kayla Doty and the defense. TROY CALDEIRA/The Daily Campus
The UConn softball team defeated Fairfield 5-3 Thursday afternoon in Storrs. The Huskies used strong pitching and defense to win their second straight game after defeating Providence yesterday.
The game got off to a rocky start for UConn when pitcher Katelyn Callahan walked the first two batters in the first inning. Kayla Doty replaced Callahan on the mound, surrendering two runs in the inning, both attributed to Callahan.
The Huskies responded right back in the bottom of the first - Maddy Schiappa led off the inning with a double, followed by Audrey Grinnell reaching base on an error. This set the table for Valerie Sadowl, who hit a towering three-run home run to take the lead for UConn.
The game settled down for the next two innings as both teams went scoreless in the second and third innings. The Stags scored a run in the top of the fourth when Nicole Capra hit an RBI-single that scored Lauren Filicia.
The Huskies responded again in the bottom of the fourth inning. UConn loaded the bases for Schiappa, who hit a grounder to shortstop that allowed Lexi Gifford to score due to an error. The Huskies also added one more insurance run in the bottom of the sixth.
Coach Karen Mullins was impressed with Doty's effort on the mound. Doty pitched seven innings and allowed four hits and one earned run.
"Kayla came in and pitched a nice competitive game for us," Mullins said. "She's been coming along and it's been really nice to see in her last couple outings she's thrown strong for us. It all starts in the circle where you set that tone. She's such a competitor for us on the mound and we play well behind her."
Mullins was also pleased with the Huskies taking advantage of opportunities at the plate.
"I think we are taking better swings and doing a better job with our pitch selection and that's paying off for us," Mullins said. "The hitting seems to be coming around."
UConn will travel to Kentucky this weekend to take on Louisville in a three game series. The Cardinals have a 24-15 record and are on a four game winning streak. Mullins and the Huskies are not taking things lightly as they prepare to face their American Athletic Conference rivals.
"Louisville is always a tough team," Mullins said. "They took three last weekend from South Florida so we know we will have our hands full we just have to go out there and compete."
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