The UConn (14-22) softball team will take on UMass (19-18) at 4 p.m. Tuesday and Farleigh Dickinson (2-25) at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Each game will be at home at Burrill Family Field and the weather should not be much of a factor.
UConn dropped each of the three games against ECU over the weekend, but their pitching held their own. Junior Chelsea Eckert had a stellar weekend, including her start Saturday, in which she pitched six innings, allowing only two runs. Eckert also came in for relief Thursday and tossed 3.1 innings of scoreless ball.
UConn head coach Jen McIntyre was happy with Eckert’s effort.
“Chelsea has done a great job all year. For her to get the start on Saturday, I thought she threw well against them earlier in the weekend,” McIntrye said. “I thought she handled them really well.”
Freshman Carli Cutler has been the jack of all trades for UConn as she has logged 33.1 innings pitching and has been the best hitter on the team this season, with a batting average of .340.
Cutler said doing a little bit of everything has its benefits.
“It was definitely a big adjustment because in travel ball, I really only pitched. In high school, I kind of did everything, but it wasn’t as time consuming,” Cutler said. “It’s been a different transition, but it has been really fun because I have gotten to play and do different things besides being on the mound.”
Cutler was named to the conference honor roll after she concluded her weekend going 5-for-8 and knocking in a run.
Cutler has one specific goal on the field.
“I have been looking to have a lot of fun and do whatever it takes to help my team be successful,” Cutler said.
UMass will rely on Kaitlyn Stavinoha to knock in runners and get on base, as she leads the team with an average of .355 and 31 RBIs. Her 31 RBIs are 19 more than anyone else on the team.
UMass has a pitching staff that is led by Candace Denis and Meg Colleran. Denis has the lower ERA at 2.36 compared to Colleran’s 2.96, but Colleran has logged 16.2 innings more.
Farleigh Dickinson has struggled mightily this season on the pitching side. Their team ERA is at an astronomical 7.17. Erica Johnson is the lone pitcher with wins on the staff as she has both, but her ERA is at 6.32.
Offensively, FDU has talented hitters. They are led by Reanna Cervantes, who has a .349 batting average along with eight RBIs. Kellie Natham is the leader in RBIs, with 16 of the team’s 55.
Cutler said the team needs to execute on offense going forward.
“We need to string hits together, offensively. Against ECU, we out hit them two of the games, but we just didn’t string together hits at the same time,” Cutler said. “So I think if we get runners on, we just have to get that one or two hits that get runners in.”
Michael Logan is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.