Softball: UConn returns to Big East action for series against Villanova 

The UConn softball team was able to hold on to their early lead to win their match against Boston College at Burrill Family Softball Complex in Storrs, Conn. on March 21, 2023. A strong fourth inning from the Eagles that resulted in six points nearly flipped the result of the match. Photo by Skyler Kim/The Daily Campus

Coming off a midweek matchup against Boston University, the UConn softball team will return to Big East action to face Villanova in a three-game series this weekend. 

The series will commence on Friday, March 31 with first pitch at 3:00 p.m. The second game will be on Saturday, April 1 at noon and the series finale will be on Sunday, April 2 also at noon. All of the games will be hosted by the Wildcats in Villanova, Pennsylvania. 

In the Huskies’ loss to Boston University on Wednesday, there was a lack of offense and the game was heavily relied on by pitching. UConn’s problem was not getting runners on base, but instead it was putting the strings together and bringing those runners home. Against BU, the Huskies left seven runners on base and were shut out by the Terriers. 

As for Villanova, they are coming into this series with a 18-13 (.581 pct) overall record and 5-1 (.833 pct) record in conference play. After five consecutive series wins, the Wildcats are on a 10-game winning streak and will look to continue that against UConn.  

Last week, the Wildcats landed two players on the Big East Weekly Honor Roll list. Starting off with Ava Franz, she earned the conference’s Player of the Week. In Villanova’s three-game sweep over Creighton, Franz started in all three games, finishing with a .500 batting average and five hits, two doubles, four RBIs and two runs scored. The sophomore also made the team-high eight assists out of the second base spot. Franz delivered the game-winning hit on Friday, March 17 in Villanova’s seventh inning comeback. The Pennsylvania native should definitely not be a player that the Huskies underestimate when they travel to Villanova.  

In addition, on the pitcher’s end, Kat Gallant was selected to the Honor Roll. She earned two victories across two starts, tossing 12 innings in that span. In those two appearances, the freshman had a 2.92 ERA, striking out eight batters and only walking one while in the circle. Against Creighton, the Connecticut native led Villanova to get the win, allowing only two earned runs on 33 batters faced in a whole-team effort game by the Wildcats.  

There are definitely some faces that UConn should be prepared for as they head over to Pennsylvania. However, the Huskies also shared a ton of success with pitchers in a little over the first month of regular season play. Against Boston University, Hope Jenkins started in the circle for Connecticut and pitched for six innings. She finished with seven strikeouts, only gave up three hits, and had three 1-2-3 innings. The first hit of the game did not come until the third inning, so it was a real pitchers duel for the majority of the time. The only run that Jenkins gave up was a solo home run which also happened to be the only run of the game. 

The Huskies look to spark their offense back up and rebound from the loss to BU this weekend against Villanova. The series will open up on Friday, March 31 at 3:00 p.m. and all games will be streamed on FloSoftball.  

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