Softball: UConn prepares for Providence after postponed home opener

The UConn Women's softball team defeated UM-Lowell 6-3 at Burrill Field Sunday September 25, 2016. This game was part of a double header match. (Amar Batra/ The Daily Campus)

The Huskies were slated to take on UMass-Lowell on Wednesday, which would have also been the team’s home opener. However, due to last week’s snowstorm, the field is still not ready for play. That game has been rescheduled for April 4th at 4 p.m. The team will take on Providence in Rhode Island on Thursday at 2:30 p.m.

UConn went 4-7 over Spring Break, where they played in California and Hawaii. Several Huskies flourished and the entire team showed grit.

Head coach Jen McIntyre said the team will be ready for Providence.

When asked if the team was fatigued, McIntyre said, “Not at all. We gave them Sunday and Monday off … they are pretty well-rested and it is a lot easier to adjust back to this time than it is to Hawaii’s time. So, they are ready to go.”

The Huskies take on a 7-13 Providence team and they look to score runs against the Friars pitching staff that has a sub-par team ERA of 4.13. The UConn offense struggled in Hawaii and California, but this should be a good matchup for their offense.

McIntyre said that this matchup is just like any other matchup.

“I think every matchup is a great opportunity and that is how we look at it,” McIntyre said. “Any chance that we can get to play games is really what we need. The best way to get out of a slump is to keep swinging. So, any opportunity we get to hit, we are going to take it.”

Freshman Katie Koshes leads the team in ERA with 1.92 and she looks to continue her success against Providence. Koshes was also named to the American Honor Roll for the second time this season.

McIntyre said it is encouraging that the team has lost six games by two runs or fewer because the pitching has been dominant.

“I think it’s really encouraging,” McIntyre said of the close games. “It’s a credit to our pitching staff. Our pitching has done a great job of keeping us in ballgames.”

Offensively, Providence will look to Nicole Lundstrom to ignite the offense. She leads the team with a .383 batting average in 20 games. She also leads the team in home runs with three.

McIntyre said that this matchup between Lundstrom and the Providence offense will be key.

“(Lundstrom) is clearly having a great year. Even throughout their lineup,” McIntyre said. “All it really takes is for someone to put the barrel on the ball at the right time … tomorrow we are going to look for a really tough matchup.”

Providences’ pitching staff is led by Michaela Veneziali, who boasts 2.33 ERA in 12 innings pitched. However, their workhorse is Christina Ramirez, who has a 3.39 ERA in 76.1 innings pitched.

The Huskies offense is led by Senior Valerie Sadowl, who continues to produce for the team. She has a batting average of .304 and has hit two home runs. Kiwi McDaniel and Devon Casazza both lead the team in home runs with three.

Carissa Brizzi broke out in the final game in Hawaii against Harvard, when she smashed three hits, including the game-tying RBI single in the 7th inning. This UConn team really showed grit, which was highlighted by Brizzi’s game.

McIntyre said that being around this team everyday is special.

“It’s fun. I can tell you that; it’s a lot of fun,” McIntyre said of watching the team. “They are full of energy and they are as good as they decide to be. So, when you feel like you have a group that continues to fight and scratch for every last out, you always feel like you have a chance late in the game.”


Michael Logan is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at michael.logan@uconn.edu.