The UConn softball team will start its season one weekend later than expected after this weekend’s snowstorm kept them from boarding their flight to Florida Thursday. The Huskies were set to play in a tournament at Florida Gulf Coast.
For the Huskies, the season can’t get started soon enough.
“We’re definitely excited to get going,” head coach Jen McIntyre said. “We’ve been inside now for about three and a half weeks. They are definitely more than ready to get outside, get some ground balls in the dirt and see what we really have.”
McIntyre is beginning her third season with the team in a career that has included coaching at Boston University, Penn State and Indiana. Her second season saw impressive offensive stat improvements in a 19-win campaign.
This team has an influx of freshmen with eight of the 18 players on the roster being first-year players.
“The freshmen are doing great, they’re acclimating well. Obviously we have a lot of new faces on the roster, but I’ll tell you what, I credit our upperclassmen. Our returners are really the ones who have helped acclimate them to the rigors of being a Division I athlete, especially at this level,” McIntyre explained.
A majority of players for the Huskies have the ability to play at multiple positions, namely freshman Carli Cutler who has trained as both a pitcher and a utility player.
“She’s working in a little bit offensively, a little bit defensively, so she’s got her hands full,” McIntyre said of Cutler. “What’s interesting about his group is that they’re all very dynamic athletes. We’ve moved a lot of different people around in a lot of different spots, and I anticipate we (will) continue doing that for the first couple of weekends.”
McIntyre expressed that it’s not only important to have this versatility among the team, but absolutely essential.
“Fifty-six games is a long season, and the more versatile an athlete can be, the better.”
The Huskies are going to see a lot of travel in the upcoming weeks, with trips to Tennessee, South Carolina, California and Hawaii and Florida. They’ll finally come home to Burrill Family Field on March 22 to take on UMass-Lowell.
Rachel Schaefer is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.