The home run is one of the most exciting plays in baseball and softball, as long as you’re up at bat. When you’re in the field and see the ball fly over the fence and the batter trotting the bases, it can demoralize a team.
This has somewhat been the story for UConn softball this season, and it was emphasized in their Thursday afternoon matchup against the Shockers from Wichita State. The Huskies’ pitching staff gave up five long balls on 11 total hits. While the math is simple, almost half of their total hits went over the fence.
After today’s game, head coach Jen McIntyre noted that she and her staff will go back and look at the film to make adjustments for the rest of their series with the Shockers to keep the ball in the park.
Giving up five home runs in a single game is rough, but this has been a trend for the Huskies this season. As an entire staff, UConn has given up 25 home runs in their 34 games this season. That means the Huskies’ are allowing a home run in almost 75 percent of their games so far. This statistic is even more worrisome after realizing the entire UConn offense has only hit 14 home runs.
If the Huskies want to turn things around this season with their current 13-21 record, something will have to change. It may seem like it’s simple enough to blame the pitching staff, but the team as a whole has room for improvement. As a team, UConn is batting an abysmal .209 with slugging and on-base percentages that match at a low .291.
The team needs to find a balance if they want to play at the high level they know they’re capable of playing. Each side has shown glimpses of a possible turn around this season. Jill Stockley & Co. have combined for a solid team ERA of 3.34 but have only a total of four shutouts. The offense has been streaky thus far and must find consistency in a lineup that has not a single player batting over the .300 mark. The highest average belongs to redshirt freshman Olivia Sappington with a respectable .285.
There’s still time left in the season with 22 games remaining for the Huskies find the right balance before the American Athletic Conference Tournament begins in early May.
Kevin Arnold is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.