Softball: UConn set for trip to Gainesville, Florida for T-Mobile Tournament 

The UConn softball team competes against William Paterson University on Oct. 9, 2022. The Huskies swept their visiting opponents 16-0. Photo by Skyler Kim/The Daily Campus

After winning one of three games in the Buzz Classic, the UConn softball team is now set for five games hosted in Gainesville, Florida for the T-Mobile Tournament. 

Over these five games, the Huskies will face three teams. They will start the tournament off with a double-header on Friday, Feb. 17 with their first game against Bowling Green at 11:30 a.m. and the night-cap against the University of Florida at 6 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 18  they will have another double-header starting with Florida at 1 p.m. and ending with Central Michigan University right after at 3:30 p.m.. Lastly, UConn will wrap up the tournament on Sunday, Feb. 19 with a single game against Bowling Green and the first pitch scheduled for 9 a.m. 

To start their season, Bowling Green began at the DePaul Dome Tournament and finished with a 2-3 overall record. In their win against Valparaiso last weekend, Makailah Dees had her first three-hit game of her career in four at-bats with a single, double and a triple. She now leads the team having four RBIs to begin the season.  

The hosting Florida Gators started their season off hot with an undefeated 5-0 record, notching wins against Boston University, Boston College, Illinois State and Jacksonville in the USF Tournament. In their game against BU, the Gators were led by sophomore Sam Roe who had a career-high three hits and four RBIs in the win. Florida’s offense is starting to build early momentum as they have outscored their first three opponents 41-12 in 15 innings of play this season and are now ranked third in the national rankings.  

For Central Michigan University, this will be their opening tournament of the 2023 season. Last week, the Mid-American Conference released its 2023 preseason softball coaches poll and Central Michigan University was picked to finish in second place. With the Chippewas playing their first games of the season this weekend, it could give Connecticut a potential advantage as they already have a full weekend of play under their belt.  

In their first three games for the Huskies, team leaders have started to emerge with graduate student outfielder Aziah James having the highest batting average of .429 and a slugging percentage of .571 stealing three bases. Additionally, freshman catcher Grace Jenkins is in front with two home runs and five RBIs. As for pitching, Payton Kinney has a current ERA of 3.00 which is the lowest on the team. 

Now for this tournament, pitching needs to be something that UConn improves on as they had a 8.05 ERA last weekend, allowing 17 earned runs over three games. Their opponents held back the Huskies’ offense, pitching a 4.05 ERA and striking out 28 batters for just nine earned runs. Flipping the script on the offensive side of the diamond should hopefully help the Huskies get in the win column this weekend and battle against the dominant Florida Gators. 

UConn will open up the tournament with an 11:30 a.m. matchup against Bowling Green and then a tough matchup with the ranked Florida Gators at 6 p.m. The final three games of the T-Mobile Tournament will then go into the weekend which will be wrapped up on the morning of Sunday, Feb. 19.  

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