Coming off of an explosive 15-0 trouncing of UMass, the UConn softball team will look for more success as it hosts Creighton in Storrs for the first time ever.
While the Huskies’ Wednesday matchup had a storied history, they have only played three games ever against the Bluejays, all of which came in the same series last year, which went in UConn’s favor two games to one.
Seven Huskies got hits in the UMass game, with Lexi Hastings (3), Briana Marcelino (2) and Erika Coreth (2) all having multi-hit performances. These three also combined for 13 of UConn’s 15 runs driven in, with Hastings having herself a seven-RBI day while Marcelino and Coreth scored three apiece. This weekend, all three will have a chance to continue that momentum. Another continuation related to UConn’s offense is their expertise in base stealing, swiping another four on Wednesday to bring the season total to 76. For context, Butler is currently second in the Big East for steals, and the Bulldogs have stolen 37 bags, not even half UConn’s total. Marcelino, who has led the team in steals all season, has still not been caught, currently 22-22, while Hastings and Reese Guevarra are right behind her with 18 and 16, respectively.
In the circle for UConn, Elise Sokolsky has been the definition of consistent as of late. In Wednesday’s game, she struck out six in three innings of perfect work, extending her streak of innings without allowing a run to 27.1 innings. Also on Wednesday, Delaney Nagy and Meghan O’Neil each pitched a scoreless inning.
For Creighton’s pitching, the Bluejays’ ace is Kate Mullally, who currently has a 2.98 ERA on the season. Both teams have one sub-three ERA pitcher, Mullally for Creighton and Sokolsky for UConn, but the rest of each staff is where the major difference can be seen. While Nagy, O’Neil and Marybeth Olson all have ERAs in the three range for UConn, Creighton’s other three pitchers, Mikayla Santa Cruz, Alexis Wiggins and Jena Lawrence currently own 4.56, 4.65 and 6.68 ERAs, respectively.
In spite of the higher ERA, Creighton’s key to winning has come from its offense. The team is currently batting .310, with five players batting over .300 individually. One player to watch out for is Emma Rosonke, who is currently tied for the team batting title with a .375 average. She leads the team in home runs with eight, and in RBI with 37 while being .08 away from a .800 slugging percentage on the season.
Creighton comes into Storrs after two straight losses to St. John’s brought the team back to .500, so the Bluejays will look to bounce back against the Huskies. On the other hand, UConn is on a three-game winning streak and has sole possession of first place in the Big East, so the Huskies will just want to keep the train moving.
With Creighton’s pattern of big offense and high-ERA pitching, fans should expect some high-scoring games this weekend. First pitch of the first game is set for 6 p.m. on Friday, April 8, followed by a 2 p.m. Saturday game and an 11 a.m. start on Sunday to round out the series. All the action is taking place at Burrill Family Field in Storrs, and will be streaming on FloSports.