Duggan shines on the mound and plate at the Mizuno Classic, despite struggles for the Huskies

The UConn Softball team got off to a hot start at the Mizuno Classic, but ultimately struggled to take home a tournament victory on the Oklahoma State campus.

The Huskies got off to a great start in game one against a struggling Oklahoma State team with an 8-2 win. Senior Lauren Duggan led the way for the Huskies both offensively and on the mound. She delivered with a complete game and only surrendered two unearned runs. Duggan helped her own cause by picking up two hits, including a two-run homer that gave her a comfortable lead to work with in the third inning. UConn matched their season high with eight runs, something Coach Jen McIntyre had hoped to accomplish going into the tournament.

Although the Huskies once again put plenty of runs on the board, they struggled to stop the University of Missouri-Kansas City from doing the same. UConn fell by a final score of 10-7. Five different Huskies drove in runs, but sophomore Kayla Doty struggled on the mound, giving up five earned runs in 2.2 innings of work. Freshman Chelsea Eckert was unable to stop the bleeding in relief and Doty was handed her third loss of the season.

On day two UConn defeated Evansville University for the second time in this young season. The Husky bats remained potent and led the squad to a 10-5 victory. This time Duggan struggled on the mound, but it was Eckert who shined in relief. After Duggan surrendered five earned runs in four innings, Eckert picked up four strikeouts in three scoreless innings en route to her first career save. A big chunk of the scoring for the Huskies came from Emily O’Donnell. The senior went 4-4, drove in three runs and scored three more. The win was enough to give UConn the No.1 seed and another matchup with UMKC.

It was all down hill for the No. 1 seeded Huskies the rest of the way. For the second time in the tournament UConn fell to UMKC in Stillwater. Duggan suffered her fourth loss of the season on the mound and the bats never came to life in a 9-2 loss. Eckert flashed her potential in the final game of the tournament with a 10-strikeout performance against Evansville, but the Huskies fell by a score of 5-2. The team now stands at 6-9 heading into the San Diego Classic, which begins March 13.

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