On Saturday, the University of Connecticut women’s softball team will face off against the Butler University Bulldogs. The series comes after the Huskies’ victory over the Central Connecticut State University Blue Devils on Wednesday.
That game was one of the best games the Huskies have played this season. They scored ten runs in five innings and only gave up two, ending up winning the game in just five innings on the back of an inside-the-park homer that brought home the final two runs.
Now, the Huskies are set for a three-game series with the Bulldogs, their second Big East series of the season. Last weekend they won the first, getting two wins and one loss to Creighton University. Now, the 10-10 Huskies will face off against the 9-11 Bulldogs in an effort to prove that their slow start to the season will not be a sign of what their entire season will be.
The Huskies pitchers, freshman Payton Kinney and sophomore Meghan O’Neil, will once again have to perform in order to guide their team towards victory. They did well over the last week, allowing just 10 runs in the last four games while their offense scored 30. That offense has been helped by aggressive baserunning and hitting home runs.
The Huskies have stolen almost sixty bases this season, already breaking the team’s fifty-five stolen base in one season record that they set in 1995. This exemplifies the kind of aggressive baserunning that the Huskies have been attempting this year.
They’ll also look to capitalize on the strong batting that has been present throughout the season, but especially in the last few games. Players like catcher Devon Casazza and Jana Sanden, who both have hit for three home runs in the last four games, have helped the offense capitalize on those stolen bases and other hits and turned that good positioning into runs for the team.
However, Butler is not a bad team either. They’re 9-11, with one less win and one more loss than the Huskies. However, they’re coming off a weekend in which they lost three straight games to Villanova, most of a four-game losing streak that also includes a loss to Seton Hall a few weeks ago.
However, Villanova is also a good team. They’re sitting at 11-7 and have an eight-game winning streak, including wins over Butler, Hofstra and Towson. The fact that Butler lost to them is not necessarily an indication that Butler themselves are struggling massively, although giving up ten runs in three games while only scoring one is typically a bad sign for any team.
The Huskies will be looking to keep Butler’s offense on the backfoot once again in their series, though their pitching has been a little hot and cold this season. However, Butler’s pitching has also been relatively decent, which means that they might be able to slow down the Huskies offense and make it difficult for them to score as many runs as they have in the last week or so.
In addition, the weather could play a role. Sunday is predicted to have rain all day, which means that game could be more difficult or could end up being rained out, given it’s predicted to rain half an inch. That could put a twist into the plans for the three-game weekend, but either way, this is a series for two teams to prove that they are, or are not, going to make this season a good one.