UConn Softball heads to Tennessee for opening weekend


Sophomore Jill Stockely winds up a pitch during the Huskies 2-0 loss to East Carolina at Burrill Family Field on April 15, 2016. The Huskies will begin their season this weekend in Tennessee. (Tyler Benton/The Daily Campus) 

After the Huskies were slated to begin their season last weekend in Florida, they were grounded due to the snowstorm that hit the Northeast. Although it was certainly frustrating, head coach Jen McIntyre understands that the weather is only in the hands of Mother Nature.

“It certainly was disappointing, but some of those things are out of our control,” McIntyre said. “We talk to our kids about that all the time, ‘Control the controllables,’ and unfortunately Mother Nature and weather is not one of them. Now they are re-focused and ready to get back at it.”

Each game against LIU Brooklyn and Florida Gulf Coast will not be made up. However, McIntyre said that they are trying to add a couple of games to other upcoming tournaments.

This weekend the Huskies take on IUPUI (0-5) on Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m. They will also take on Tennessee Tech (0-5) at 4 p.m. on Saturday and close out the weekend against Chattanooga (2-3) at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.

McIntyre expects the team to be ready this weekend, but acknowledges that it could take a week or two before really hitting their stride.

“Anytime (the players) get out there on that first weekend or first couple of weekends, (the coaching staff is) really just trying to get them back in the dirt and get them at game speed,” McIntyre said.

Despite the season being delayed a week, McIntyre doesn’t see the team as being overanxious.

“I wouldn’t say they are overanxious; this group is just excited,” McIntyre said. “They are just excited to get out there and play with their teammates and see what (they) are.”

McIntyre has not yet named a starting pitcher for the opener, but said that she will take a look at matchups and use a few of the five pitchers that they have on the roster.

McIntyre said that having five pitchers is excellent, especially in a weekend like this, when they play four games.

“To have options is what every coach is striving for,” McIntyre said. “It creates competition within the team and competition is a great thing.”

Offensively the Huskies will count on sophomore Ally Hernandez and senior Taylor Townsend. Hernandez led the team in batting average at .333 over 33 at bats last season, while Townsend had the most runs batted in on the team, with 15.

McIntyre said that this weekend will help the team get to game speed and show them what they might need to improve on.

“We can practice drills, we can practice fundamentals,” McIntyre said, “but when (the team) puts everything at game speed, that is when we will really start to see what’s working, what’s not working, what’s clicking on all cylinders and that will be our goal.”

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

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