The UConn softball team is set for its home opener against Seton Hall for a three-game series this weekend. This series will also be the Big East conference opener for both teams.
The Seton Hall Pirates will enter the series with a 7-7 overall record. In their most recent tournament, the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic, the Pirates won three out of five games. Their wins came against North Dakota (2) and Texas Tech.
After their performances at Texas Tech, two Pirates received Big East Honors. Shelby Smith was named Co-Pitcher of the Week and Abby Wingo was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll. Smith pitched three times at the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic, starting the weekend against North Dakota with a two-hit complete game shutout while also setting her career-high with 12 strikeouts. The senior pitcher continued her surge the next day with another double-digit strikeout performance, retiring 10 and allowing just two runs in a one-run win over Texas Tech.
Wingo was an on-base weapon for Seton Hall, having a .533 batting average with a .588 on-base percentage as she had four doubles, three RBIs and six runs scored. The senior outfielder had three multi-hit performances over the weekend. Against North Dakota she was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Additionally, she had two hits in their win against Texas Tech.
Despite their .500 winning percentage, Seton Hall has had strong recent performances on both sides of the diamond last weekend and they look to continue that pattern when they travel to Storrs for the Big East opener.
As for Connecticut, they are coming off a successful weekend at the Liberty Invitational, winning three out of four games. UConn improved their record to 10-6 overall and look to stay in the win column as they open up Big East action.
From their performances at the Liberty Invitational this past weekend, two Huskies received Big East Honors. Grace Jenkins was named Big East Freshman of the Week for the second time this season and Savannah Ring was named to the Big East honor roll, also for the second time this year.
Jenkins has continued to lead the Huskies lineup, having multiple hits with a run score in each game against Iona last Sunday. For the weekend as a whole, the freshman catcher recorded a .455 batting average with a .727 slugging percentage which included three extra base hits and two RBIs to make for 12 on the season, a team-high.
Ring led the team with five hits at the Liberty Invitational, including two multi-hit games. She was 2-for-2 on stolen bases last weekend, adding to her season total of eight. The freshman infielder finished the weekend with a .417 batting average, she scored three runs and had two runs batted in.
The Huskies freshman class has been the heart of their performances with the Jenkins sisters and Ring, but they still have tons of strength in their more experienced players. Juniors Jana Sanden and Payton Kinney received Big East honors about two weeks ago. UConn is stacked with immense amounts of talent which will carry them into Big East play.
UConn has yet to play at their home field in Storrs, but that will change this weekend as they will host Seton Hall for three games at Burrill Family Field at the Connecticut Softball Complex.
The games are set for Friday, March 10 at 2 p.m., Saturday March 11 at 11 a.m. and the series finale on Sunday March 12 with first pitch at noon. All the games will be streamed on UConn+.