April 2, 2010
STORRS, Conn. - Junior catcher Kacee Cox clubbed her fifth home run of the season and drove in five runs, Chelsea Durning continued her hot hitting against Connecticut, and the St. John’s softball team took a 5-2 victory over UConn in its BIG EAST opener Friday at Burrill Family Field.
The Red Storm (12-15, 1-0 BIG EAST) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. With one out, Connecticut starter Kiki Saveriano hit STJ freshman second baseman Amber Curry with a pitch. Curry stole second and Cox brought her home with an RBI single up the middle.
In the bottom of the second, UConn (10-17, 1-3 BIG EAST) pulled ahead 2-1. Kathleen Brenneman scored from third base on a bunt single by Amanda Martin. Connecticut took the lead when Marissa Guches crossed the plate on a single up the middle by Julianne Towers.
Cox helped St. John’s retake the lead in the top of the third. With one out and Curry on second, Cox sent a 1-2 pitch soaring over the left field fence to push STJ ahead, 3-2.
St. John’s defended a one-run lead for four innings before tacking on two more in the seventh for insurance.
The Huskies put two on in the sixth inning, but were unable to produce any runs. Jessica Arremony and Jessica McDermott reached on walks. With one out, Kat Lawrence entered in relief of STJ starter Linzee Sumrall. Lawrence induced a fly out to center and recorded a swinging strikeout to shut down UConn’s opportunity for more runs.
The Red Storm added a pair of runs in the seventh. Shauntaine Harris led off the inning with a single to left field and advanced to second on a groundout by Jenna Berger. Julia Sanchez was hit by a pitch in the following at-bat and Durning loaded the bases when she ripped a single through the left side. After Brenneman induced as swinging strikeout in the next at-bat, Cox drilled a pitch up the middle for a single, plating Harris and Sanchez. St. John’s extended its lead to 5-2.
Cox finished 3-of-4 from the plate with one home run, five RBI and one run scored. Durning went 3-of-4 from the leadoff spot. Harris was a perfect 2-of-2 with one walk and one run scored. Curry scored two runs in the game.
Sumrall improved to 5-8 with the win after tossing 5.1 innings with five strikeouts and two runs allowed. Lawrence earned her first save of the season after throwing 1.2 scoreless frames with one strikeout. Connecticut’s Saveriano (6-7) took the loss after giving up 10 hits and five runs over seven innings.
St. John’s completes its series against Connecticut with a doubleheader at Burrill Family Field on Saturday starting at 12 p.m.
NOTES: St. John’s improved to 2-2 in BIG EAST openers under head coach Amy Kvilhaug… The Red Storm is now 5-5 in its last 10 BIG EAST openers… Chelsea Durning is batting .571 (8-of-14) against UConn in her career… Kacee Cox owns a .313 career batting average (5-of-16) with two home runs and six RBI against the Huskies… Shauntaine Harris is hitting .357 (5-of-14) against UConn.