Softball: Huskies battle in first weekend tournament  

The UConn Softball Team competes against Adelphi University on Sunday, Oct 9th 2022. The Huskies played back-to-back matches, taking on William Paterson University later in the afternoon. Photo by Skyler Kim/The Daily Campus.

UConn Softball participated in the Buzz Classic this past weekend, winning just one of their three games played. During this weekend, the Huskies took on Georgia Tech and the University of North Texas. In total, UConn was scheduled to play five games, but their matchups against the University of Illinois Chicago and Saint Francis were canceled due to rain. Here’s how each game they were able to play went. 

UConn started the season and weekend against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, winning a thrilling game in their first matchup. Freshman Hope Jenkins took the mound in her first collegiate start with her twin sister, Grace Jenkins, behind the plate at catcher. Hope helped her own cause with a sacrifice fly in the first to put the Huskies up one. Georgia Tech responded with three runs of their own in the second on a Madison Dobbins single and a Paige Vukadinovich triple to go up 3-1. UConn was able to put pressure on Georgia Tech in the fourth and took advantage. With two runners in scoring position, Savannah Ring singled, pushing a runner home to put the deficit to 3-2. Just a few batters later, catcher Grace Jenkins stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. In just her second collegiate at-bat, she took the 0-1 pitch to left field for a grand slam, putting the Huskies up 6-3. Despite the Yellow Jackets scoring a few runs late, UConn was able to hold onto a tight 6-5 victory, their first of the season. Hope Jenkins picked up her first win with four strikeouts and just two earned runs in five innings pitched.  

Game two versus Georgia Tech was more of a pitching duel. UConn’s Payton Kinney and Georgia Tech’s Blake Neleman faced off in a rubber match. Mallorie Black put the Yellow Jackets up 1-0 in the fourth on a single to right that scored Vukadinovich. Hope Jenkins tied the game in the sixth with a double to center to score Savannah Ring in what was the Huskies’ second hit of the game. The tie didn’t last long as in the bottom half of the inning, Black was able to draw a walk with the bases loaded, which pushed the go-ahead run in for the Yellow Jackets. This proved to be enough as Georgia Tech took game two with a score of 2-1. The storyline for this game was how Teleman carved up the UConn lineup. She struck out 13 batters, allowed just two hits and gave up one run in a complete game performance.  

The UConn Softball Team competes against Adelphi University on Sunday, Oct 9th 2022. The Huskies played back-to-back matches, taking on William Paterson University later in the afternoon. Photo by Skyler Kim/The Daily Campus.

On Saturday, the Huskies started their day against the University of North Texas Mean Green. North Texas came in having won their previous two games outscoring their opponents by a score of 13-0. They carried that momentum into Saturday’s game, dominating the Huskies in a 10-2 victory. The scoring started early with a three-run home run by Mikayla Smith in the second inning. Smith would pick up her fourth RBI of the day two innings later with a single that would bring Molly Rainey in, putting the Mean Green up four. North Texas would end up scoring four more times in the fourth inning, five runs in total. Shortstop Jana Sanden would bring in the first run of the game for UConn on a sharp single to center but the score remained 8-1. Kailey Gamble tacked on another run with a solo shot to add yet another run for North Texas while Cierra Simon singled to bring their run total up to 10. Grace Jenkins hit her second home run of the weekend to cut the lead to 10-2, but that was all the Huskies had left. The Mean Green drew nine walks in the game to go along with their nine hits on route to their third win of the season. 

UConn was scheduled to take on the University of Illinois Chicago on Saturday afternoon, but it was canceled due to rain. The same happened with their game against Saint Francis on Sunday morning, which was also canceled because of the weather. This ended the Huskies weekend at 1-2.  

Some leaders in statistics after the first three games: Grace Jenkins leads the team with two home runs and five RBIs, outfielder Aziah James leads with a batting average of .429 and pitcher Payton Kinney currently has a .300 ERA. As a team, UConn had an 8.05 ERA giving up 17 earned runs in three games. Their opponents pitched a 4.05 ERA against the Huskies, striking out 28 batters and allowing just nine earned runs.   

UConn heads to Gainesville, Florida next weekend to participate in the T-Mobile tournament and is scheduled to face the University of Florida, Bowling Green and Central Michigan University in what should be another competitive weekend.  

Leave a Reply