After a successful opening weekend in Tennessee, the UConn Huskies softball team will head down to Boca Raton, Florida, looking to build on their early achievements.
They begin their series Friday morning against Kentucky (5-4) at 9 a.m. After that, UConn will take on Florida Atlantic (8-2) at 3:45 p.m. They take on Florida A M (1-8) Saturday at 9 a.m. before closing out their weekend against Arkansas (7-0) at 11:15 a.m.
Last weekend UConn lost their first two games against Kennesaw State and Radford, but steamrolled IUPUI and Chattanooga to win their last two.
Coach Jen McIntyre was pleased with the production and effort that she saw from her team. She sees it as a great sign for their confidence moving forward.
“I think (winning the last two games) was great,” McIntyre said. “I think that the first weekend was all about getting (the players’) cleats on for the first time and really just getting their feet wet…So, it was really great to see them bounce back from Saturday to Sunday.”
McIntyre stressed the importance of playing meaningful games.
“(Playing meaningful games is) huge. We prepare as much as we can in the pre-season and we went through our whole laundry list of things to work on,” McIntyre said. “Then all of a sudden (we) finally get into game speed and the game presents situations that (we) say, ‘Hey, we are doing this right and doing this well, and these are the things that we need to plug holes in.’ So it is absolutely critical for us to see us play games.”
Senior Valerie Sadowl, who was named to the American Athletic Conference Honor Roll on Monday, had a stellar weekend, smashing seven hits in 14 at-bats, with one home run and seven RBIs. McIntyre was thrilled with her production.
“She had a monster weekend,” McIntyre said. “It was really great to see her start on the right foot and really gain some momentum and confidence, and hit the ball like she is really capable of doing.”
This weekend, the Huskies will be playing some very talented teams and McIntyre said that preparation has already begun.
“We break our team and the game into three different areas, pitching, offense and defense,” McIntyre said. “We just met in the office and went over the laundry list that we have for each of those three spots – things that we did well and things that we will continue to work on.”
McIntyre will change lineups depending on the opponent.
“(We will) keep moving lineups around and sometimes as I said, ‘It’s about the matchups,’” McIntyre said. “As we start to face a certain kind of pitcher, we might have different personnel in there or different combinations in the lineup together. Those are things that we will start to work on and iron out this week.”
Michael Logan is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.