The UConn softball team returns to action this week with a pair of games against Massachusetts teams. The team will travel to Boston College on Wednesday, but must first get through UMass on Tuesday.
The Huskies welcome UMass to town in a game rescheduled from April 5. The teams were initially scheduled to meet in Amherst, but the game was postponed after inches of snow.
Now, the teams will meet in Storrs, where they met last year in a 4-2 UConn win. In that game, the Huskies needed nine innings to separate themselves from the evenly matched Minutewomen, eventually winning the game on Dominique Pinto’s walk-off two-run home run. Pinto’s power has carried on into this season.
Despite hitting .222, the junior leads the team in RBI (21) and is tied for the lead in home runs (3).
Senior Valerie Sadowl earned American Athletic Conference player of the week honors for her games against Central Connecticut and East Carolina. Sadowl hit .429 with one home run, six RBI, two runs scored and three walks.
Sadowl hit the game-winning three-run home run in Saturday’s 8-5 win over the Pirates.
UMass (14-21, 8-5 A-10) come into Tuesday’s game off of a series win against St. Bonaventure. The Minutewomen have won four of their last five overall, and have really turned the corner since conference play started. Although UMass has a winning percentage of .400, they sit third in the Atlantic 10.
UConn will face the daunting task Tuesday of dealing with the Minutewomen’s three dynamic hitters. Jena Cozza leads the team with a .364 batting average, and is tied for the team lead with four home runs. Erin Stacevicz hits .363, leading the team with 41 hits.
Taylor Carbone, who hits .315, shares the team lead with Cozza with four home runs of her own. All three have started everyone of UMass’s 35 games.
The Huskies’ pitching trio of Kayla Doty, Jill Stockley, and Chelsea Eckert will certainly have their work cut out. All three saw action in the weekend series against ECU, with Stockley notching a pair of wins.
UConn should expect to see Meg Colleran on the mound for UMass on Tuesday. The sophomore has pitched in 29 games, starting 24. Colleran (12-14) has a 2.23 ERA, holding opposing hitters to just a .244 batting average.
First pitch is slated for 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday as the Huskies look to make it three straight wins.
Pete Harasyko is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.