UConn softball will host Houston for a three-game series on Senior Weekend as the team will honor Chelsea Eckert, Ryne Nakama and Emma Stanley. The series will start at 2 p.m. on Friday followed by another 2 p.m. start on Saturday. Senior Day festivities will be on Sunday in addition to the series finale with the first pitch scheduled for noon.
The Huskies (18-30, 3-12 the American) are coming off of back-to-back wins after defeating Bryant at home 4-1 and picking up their first road conference win over Memphis 10-0 last weekend.
Briana Marcelino continues her impressive freshman campaign against conference opponents, leading the team in hits (14), runs (10), doubles (9). She also has a batting average of .304. Katie Koshes has dominated conference opponents from the circle this year. The sophomore has an ERA 2.77, a team best, and 47 strikeouts in 43 innings in conference matchups.
This will be the Cougars’ (30-18, 8-7 the American) first trip to Storrs since 2016, just in time for the last Huskies homestand of the season. In their most recent matchups, Houston swept the Huskies in Texas and then eliminated the Huskies in the first round of last year’s AAC Tournament in Greenville, North Carolina, Houston leads the all-time series 12-1.
Sophomore slugger Sarah Queen leads the way for the Cougars offensively. As one of three players batting over the .300 mark, she’s second on the team with her .362 average. Queen leads the team in home runs (8), RBI (30), total bases (86) and slugging percentage (.577).
Savannah Heebner has been everything and then some for the Cougars in the circle. The third year pitcher has an ERA of just 1.17 with 20 wins in 20 complete games. The Huskies are in for a challenge as Heebner has struck out 114 and walked only 23 in 186 innings pitched and has held opposing batters to just a .204 average.
Sunday’s senior affairs will be an emotional time for the three seniors as well as head coach Jen McIntyre. This senior class will be the first to play all four years at UConn under McIntyre. In four years, the four have amassed 55 wins with 14 of them coming in conference play.
All three seniors leave behind their own marks on the UConn softball program. Eckert hurled over 300 innings with a career 4.39 ERA in a UConn uniform. She was also a three-time selection to the AAC All-Academic Team and will graduate with a degree in allied health sciences.
Nakama has played 166 games at UConn, totaling 41 hits while leading the team with a .313 average in conference play as a junior. Nakama was a two-time selection to the AAC All-Academic Team and will graduate with a degree in applied and resource economics.
Stanley had a career year this year as she recorded career-highs in at-bats, hits, RBI, walks and total bases. Like Nakama, Stanley was a two-time selection to the AAC All-Academic Team. She will graduate with a degree in human development and family studies.
After this weekend, the Huskies will take a week-long break for finals and will conclude the regular season with a road trip to take on Tulsa next weekend. After that, UConn will fly directly to Tampa, Florida, for the American Athletic Conference Tournament that starts on May 10.
Kevin Arnold is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.