As it snows up in Storrs, UConn softball will be playing down south in Charleston, SC, with a five-game weekend set to start Friday. The weekend will feature two two-game sets against Western Carolina and Appalachian State, as well as a single game against College of Charleston. Coming off a 1-3 weekend, including getting no-hit by Charlotte, the Huskies will look to bounce back as they go from North Carolina to South Carolina.
Infielder Briana Marcelino has led the UConn offense so far, having played in every game and having a .423 average so far. She has also been tearing up the base paths, as the owner of nine of UConn’s 11 steals, with a perfect 100% steal rate so far. The rest of the offense has been producing as well, with the team average currently at .269. Pitching for UConn is what needs improvement, as the Huskies’ four pitchers are currently averaging a 5.35 ERA.
Western Carolina will be the Huskies’ first opponent of the week, as the first pitch of Game 1 is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on Friday. Game 2 of the series will also be played at 12:30 p.m., which will be UConn’s second game on Saturday, and fourth of the weekend. The Catamounts are currently 8-4 on the season, mostly due to a stellar defensive side. On offense, the team batting average is sitting at .201, with much of the offensive production coming from a player who has not played in all of Western Carolina’s games so far. Pitcher Savannah Rice leads the team in batting average and home runs, with .286 and 4 respectively. While the offense has started off a little slow, the defense of Western Carolina has been great. Only five total errors so far this year, coupled with sub-two ERAs from pitchers Rice and Jayme Eilers could make it tough for UConn to put runs on the board.
College of Charleston comes into the weekend having just snapped a four-game losing streak by beating Holy Cross 9-1 via the mercy rule. UConn will play their one game against the Cougars as the second game of Friday, at 5:30 p.m. CoC’s main offensive threat is catcher Jenna Helberg, who has played in all of the Cougars’ games so far and is batting .464 with 2 home runs. On average, the team is batting .234, but once again, pitching makes up for lack of offense. Across four pitchers who have all played considerable innings so far, the Cougars own a 2.12 ERA.
Lastly, UConn will face off against Appalachian State in their first game of Saturday as well as their only game on Sunday, at 10 and 11 a.m. respectively. Despite having only played seven games so far, the Mountaineers are 5-2. Offensively so far, this will be the best performing team UConn will face this weekend, with a total average of .300 and an OPS of .819. On the pitching side, App State has put five different players on the mound so far, posting an average 2.35 ERA. It’s hard to compare the Mountaineers to the other because of the small sample size, but they’re definitely off to a strong start.
The Huskies have their work cut out for them this weekend, but there’s a clear path to success. If the pitching staff can get some good innings against a few weaker offensive lineups, and the offense can get some of the other teams’ hurlers to work, this could be a very successful weekend for UConn.