UConn softball (15-26, 1-10 The American) will play UMass (22-19) at Amherst at 4 p.m. Tuesday. The Huskies defeated UMass April 18, by a score of 7-1. UConn looks to break out of a current four-game skid.
“That is our focus right now, really just attacking early in the game and early in our counts,” UConn head coach Jen McIntyre said. “We are going to try and take some pressure off the defense and pressure off the mound. That should be able to get us going again.”
During their last matchup, UConn smacked six hits from six different players. Sophomore Kelli Bates recorded the big hit when she slapped a base hit, scoring two runs.
Sophomore Jill Stockley was in the circle and pitched a gem for the Huskies. She pitched six innings and only allowed one run. Freshman Katie Koshes came in for relief and pitched a scoreless inning, while striking out her 100th batter of the season.
UMass struggled on both sides of the ball during the last matchup. Their ace Candace Denis was in the circle but she lasted only four innings, surrendering six runs (four earned).
Stockley contained the UMass slugger, Kaitlyn Stavinoha, who went one for three at the dish. Stavinoha is currently hitting an astounding .366, with 32 RBIs. Jena Coza was the only hitter to have two hits on the day. Coza is hitting .457 with two homeruns in 12 starts.
Freshman Carli Cutler, who has batted .325 with three homers and 14 RBIs, has led UConn’s offense. Emma Stanley has emerged as a threat in the order, hitting .289 in 18 starts. As a team, UConn is batting .235.
Stanley’s hot-streak has caught the attention of McIntyre.
“She’s done a great job all year. I know she worked in a lot defensively early in the season because we were moving some other parts around,” McIntyre said. “She has really good hand-eye coordination and she is pretty short to the ball. So, I am really excited to see her take off in the late part of the season.”
Koshes and Stockley lead UConn’s pitching staff and have combined for 12 wins this season. Koshes leads the staff with an ERA of 2.80, while Stockley has a 2.99 ERA.
Denis and Meg Colleran lead UMass’ pitching staff. Denis’ ERA is at 2.53, with a record of 7-8. Colleran has an ERA of 2.57 and a 14-9 record. The duo has combined for 168 strikeouts this season.
McIntyre expects to see a few changes from UMass.
“I would anticipate that they will probably throw their other kid (Colleran), who clearly has done very well for them. Again, they are a very good team, that hasn’t changed since last week. So, we are going to come out with guns blazing ready to go.”
Michael Logan is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.