As the spring semester comes to a close and students are in the midst of the always hectic finals week, let’s take a look back at the season had by your UConn Huskies softball team.
This season recap comes a bit premature as the season is not quite yet over, so all statistics mentioned are as current as this article’s publication date. UConn will travel to Tulsa after finals for a weekend series before heading to Tampa, Fl. for the AAC tournament that begins on May 10.
UConn will likely finish last in the American and with a RPI rank of 136. While the Huskies’ record (19-32, 4-14 American) was not ideal, a number of players had great individual seasons with promise of improvement as a team for next season.
Freshman Briana Marcelino, redshirt freshmen Olivia Sappington and sophomore Carli Cutler proved to be the cornerstones of this Husky lineup. Marcelino lead the team in batting average (.286), doubles (12) and slugging percentage (.473) while only striking out twelve times. Sappington was second on the team in average (.273) and slugging (.432) but lead the way in home runs (6), RBI (20), total bases (60) and walks (21). Not to mention, Sappington was the only Husky to both play and start in every game this season. Cutler was not too far behind Sappington as she posted a team high in at-bats (143) and was tied for the team lead in runs (21, Kelli Bates) and hits (38, Sappington) with a .266 batting average.
Jill Stockley solidified her status as ace of the pitching staff after another great season in the circle. The third year hurler pitched to a 2.56 ERA with a 9-13 record and 13 complete games, all good enough for best on the team. Stockley also surpassed the 100-inning mark for the third consecutive season with 150.1 while striking out 102 batters and only walking 43. Sophomore Katie Koshes proved to be a strikeout machine as she sat down 80 opponents in just 71.2 innings pitched. Koshes tossed six complete games in 13 starts with an ERA of 3.91 but held opposing players to .240 batting average.
UConn softball will be graduating three seniors at season’s end, the first group of players to play all four years under head coach Jen McIntyre. Chelsea Eckert, Ryne Nakama and Emma Stanley will all likely see their collegiate careers come to an end following the AAC Tournament. McIntyre credits the group for their efforts on defensive and proving themselves to be valued leaders on a fairly young team.
“(The seniors) have done an unbelievable job,” McIntyre said. “They have been steady on defense for us. They have really learned the game and taken it to the next level. The biggest thing I can say about them is what quality teammates they are. They have taken care of the younger ones and shown them the way.”
UConn softball shows promise for next season as 16 players of the current 19-player roster are set to return. Jill Stockley and Kelli Bates will headline the small senior class for next year but will be well supported by the seven rising juniors that include Katie Koshes, Carli Cutler and Kiwi McDaniel.
Kevin Arnold is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.