UConn softball’s regular season came to an end Saturday afternoon with a double header against conference rival Tulsa.
After winning the first game of the three-game series on Friday, the Huskies (21-29) dropped both games of Saturday’s double header. Senior Jill Stockley threw the first and third games of the series, picking up a win and a loss over the 12.1 innings pitched.
Stockley threw six innings game one, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out six. Marybeth Olson pitched the seventh inning of the game, picking up the save and securing Stockley’s 4-3 victory.
The second game that Stockley pitched was close up until the end. After giving up one unearned run in the first inning, Stockley threw five shutout innings, giving up just three hits. Then in the seventh, a couple of walks and a few base knocks led to six earned runs. Olson came in and gave up another run on the way to getting the final two outs of the 8-0 game.
“She did a great job. She threw a really good ballgame today [Saturday] and did a great job of keeping them off balance,” head coach Jen McIntyre said.
Stockley and fellow senior Kelli Bates have been large parts to this team’s growth. With five freshmen and seven sophomores, the leadership of the two seniors has been crucial this season.
“Growth defines the two of them,” McIntyre said. “Jill [Stockley] is a huge competitor, and Kelli’s [Bates] resiliency makes her a great teammate, it’s been really fun to coach the both of them.”
Bates reflected on her four years of UConn softball.
“We came in as freshmen not knowing what to expect, but we came in and did our part,” Bates said. “As seniors, this team has been amazing, we’ve done the best we have so far and are trying to go out with a strong ending.”
Stockley loves the confidence that her coach has had in her over her years here, and that has allowed her to develop and grow.
“She’s had a lot of confidence in us, and I think that’s something you need from your coach,” Stockley said.
McIntyre counts on Stockey to throw a lot of UConn’s innings, and especially has over the second half of the season. She will be counted on more than ever with the conference tournament around the corner.
Since the Huskies won’t be hosting any tournament games, Saturday’s double header was the last action that Burrill Family Field will see before getting torn down this offseason. It has been the only home field that McIntyre has known through her years with UConn softball.
“It’s not so much places that you miss, it’s the people. There are a lot of memories with a lot of great people and alumni that have played on this field,” McIntyre said. “This is a really special place.”
Though coach McIntyre will miss the old Burrill, she is also looking forward to the new one. In December, McIntyre tweeted, “2020 here we go @UConnSoftball” with a heart-eyes emoji along with it.
The new Burrill Family Field at the Connecticut Softball Complex will be built where Burrill currently stands, but the orientation will be flipped 180 degrees, so home plate will be where centerfield currently is.
The team’s focus won’t be on next season just yet, though. The American Athletic Conference Softball Quarterfinals will begin Thursday, May 9. UConn will face Houston in Houston at 10 a.m.
Sean Janos is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.