March 25, 2009
Fairfield, CT- Tricia Sullivan threw a one-hitter in game one and Jillian Ortega homered in game two to lead UConn to a double header sweep of the Pioneers in SHU’s home opener Wednesday afternoon. Taylor Froelich (Garden Grove, CA) scored Sacred Heart’s only run of the day swiping home on a delayed steal. Jen Russell (Seymour, CT) pitched well for the Pioneers allowing just two earned runs in seven innings and striking out nine Huskies.
Connecticut (13-8) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead as Micah Truax and Danielle Del Ponte both singled in the first inning. Truax extended the Huskies lead to 2-0 on an RBI single of her own in the third frame. Russell found her groove and retired the next eight hitters. The Pioneers lone hit was an infield single from designated hitter Amanda Bradley (Langley, BC). Despite three errors the Huskies made outstanding plays the entire afternoon to support their pitcher and keep Sacred Heart off the base paths.
After allowing an unearned run in the top of the seventh the Pioneers mounted a rally in the bottom half with the help of some sloppy UConn defense. Bradley started the charge reaching on a one out error by shortstop Jessica Arremony. Betsy Harvey (Unionville, CT) then ripped a ground ball to third that was handled by Ortega but her throw to second was wide and pulled the second baseman off the bag, allowing SHU to bring the tying run to the plate. The Pioneers would not be able to capitalize and fell 3-0 as Froelich flew out to center and Jasmin Vicente (Wantagh, NY) grounded out to end the game.
Sacred Heart (3-14) came out firing in the second game and took the early lead on a smart base running play by Bradley and Froelich. Bradley bluffed a steal of second base and UConn catcher Erin Burtner threw through the infield and Froelich used the opportunity to take off and steal home. Freshman pitcher Liz Tsipouras (Simi Valley, CA) got solid Pioneer defense behind her and set down the first nine Uconn hitters she faced.
Julianne Towers tied the game in the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly and Ortega crushed a ball over the right center field fence in the fifth to give the Huskies a 2-1 advantage. The wheels came off in the sixth inning as Connecticut pushed four runs across the plate, Jennifer Ward capped the inning with an RBI triple. Jessie Stavola struck out nine Pioneers and allowed three hits to earn her second win of the season as UConn cruised to a 6-1 win.
The Pioneers begin Northeast Conference play this weekend as they host Quinnipiac Saturday at noon and Central Connecticut State Sunday at 1:00 at Pioneer Park in Fairfield, CT.