Another Big East softball matchup takes place this weekend as the Connecticut Huskies host the Butler Bulldogs. UConn sits atop the Big East with a 12-3 conference record having already faced Seton Hall, Georgetown, Villanova, St. John’s and Providence. The Huskies come into the series after their eight-game win streak was snapped by Boston College on Tuesday with a 4-3 loss, though they have played solidly as of late.
Many of UConn’s players are stepping up in a big way for the program. Outfielder Lexi Hastings is currently riding a 10-game hit streak which included a clutch two-out home run in the top half of the seventh against Boston College to tie the game. Freshman Hope Jenkins earned Big East Pitcher of the Week honors for her performance last week against Fairfield and St. John’s. Shortstop Jana Sanden leads the team with six home runs and catcher Grace Jenkins leads the team with 29 RBIs, while outfielder Aziah James leads the team with 39 hits. The pitching staff holds a 3.71 ERA as a unit, holding opponents to a .208 batting average. UConn is batting exactly .300 as a team and ranks top 50 in the nation with a collective .970 fielding percentage.
Butler, despite finding success against conference opponents, holds an under .500 overall record at 15-24. Conference play has been a different story for them as they’ve only suffered three losses in 12 games in the Big East. With their success, it places them in third in the conference standings behind only Seton Hall and UConn. The Butler lineup boasts power and clutch hitting but there are three players that really stand out. Outfielder Monique Hoosen leads the team in home runs with 10 and ranks third in RBIs with 21. Utility player Ella White is the team’s RBI leader and is second behind Hoosen in home runs with six of her own. Lastly, infielder Paige Dorsett is the team’s leader in average and OPS while also top three in doubles, RBIs, home runs and slugging percentage. As for pitching, Butler has four players on their staff who have pitched a 5.26 ERA in 241 innings. Senior Mackenzie Griman is the team’s ace, starting 18 of the 21 games she’s appeared in. In 104 innings, Griman carries a 3.77 ERA with 51 strikeouts, earning seven wins along the way. Graduate student Sydney Cammon has made the most appearances for Butler with 23 on the season, starting in 10. She is 4-5 with a 5.81 ERA in her 68.2 innings pitched.
With the Big East Championship just a month away, these games can help create separation for Connecticut in the conference rankings. The gametimes for this weekend are Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at noon, taking place here in Storrs. As per usual, the games can also be streamed on UCONN+.