With graduation in the rear-view mirror, another academic year of UConn athletics has (mostly) come to an end. The softball team bowed out of the American Athletic Conference Championship last Thursday, while the baseball team is approaching the regular season finish line.
Outside of collegiate game action, it was an eventful week for both current and former Huskies. Here’s a roundup of notable UConn happenings from around the Internet.
UConn wages Big 12 campaign in silence
A Dime Back did strong journalistic work for a story published last Thursday, hunting through publicly-available UConn documents and communications to find evidence that the university was pushing for a power conference bid. Their findings? Not much, leading the site to conclude that “while you see the desperation of schools like Cincinnati or Memphis displayed in full view of the public, UConn has apparently chosen the opposite track.”
Softball season comes to an end
The UConn softball team was knocked out of the American Athletic Conference Championship last Thursday by second-seeded UCF, bringing their 2016 season to an end. The Huskies mounted a late comeback, including a two-run home run by senior Lexi Gifford, but eventually fell 3-2 to seal their third consecutive first-round loss in the tournament. The team finished 19-33, including a 4-13 record in conference play.
George Springer has monster weekend at Fenway
Former UConn slugger and current Houston Astro George Springer grew up a Red Sox fan, so the local excitement for his first series in Boston was high. Springer delivered with a massive set of performances, including a two-run home run off former UConn teammate Matt Barnes on Friday and a grand slam over the Green Monster on Saturday afternoon. Springer is hitting .261 this season in Houston, with nine home runs and 25 runs batted in.
30-year anniversary of Jim Calhoun hiring
Sunday marked the 30-year anniversary of UConn hiring Jim Calhoun as head coach of the men’s basketball team, a move that played a gigantic role in making the Huskies a national power. Calhoun racked up 625 wins at UConn, including three national championships, on his way to induction in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Baseball pulls off home sweep over conference rival UCF
The UConn baseball team swept American Athletic Conference rival UCF this past weekend at J.O. Christian Field in Storrs, extending the team’s winning streak to six games. The Huskies rallied to a 4-3 win on Friday behind an eighth inning home run from senior Joe DeRoche-Duffin, and scored nine runs in the eighth on Saturday to pick up a 15-8 victory. On Sunday, UConn closed out the sweep with a 3-0 win behind starting pitcher Wills Montgomerie.
Samuelson’s high school number to be retired
Freshman Katie Lou Samuelson, who played an integral role for the UConn women’s basketball team this season as they captured their 11th national championship, will have her high school number retired Wednesday in Southern California. Samuelson’s No. 33 will hang in the rafters at Mater Dei High School, where she won national player of the year awards and scored 2,244 points.
Accomplished senior class makes WNBA regular season debut
The 2016 UConn women’s basketball senior class of Breanna Stewart, Moriah Jefferson and Morgan Tuck played their first WNBA regular season games this past weekend after becoming the first group of players to be drafted with the first three picks of the WNBA draft in April.
Jefferson, who plays for the San Antonio Stars, and Tuck, who plays for the Connecticut Sun, both suffered bad shooting nights in losses on Saturday. Stewart fared better individually, scoring 23 points on 9-for-13 shooting in her first game, but her Seattle Storm were crushed 96-66 by the Los Angeles Sparks.
Tyler Keating is associate sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.