To improve their record to 28-11, the UConn softball team swept Butler over a three-game series hosted at Burrill Family Field.
The Huskies opened the series on a hot Friday night in Storrs. In front of a sell
H.Hope Jenkins allowed the solo home run, the Huskies responded immediately in the bottom of the sixth inning to knot the game at one. Taylor Zatyk came in with the clutch hit that brought home Rosie Garcia from third base.
. Jenkins got in trouble in the top of the seventh inning, drawing bases loaded for Butler. Meghan O’Neil came in relief for H.Hope Jenkins and took care of business. O’Neil struck out back to back batters that she faced, getting the Huskies out of the inning without any damage done. Earning her fifth win of the season, the senior pitcher has done exactly what the coaching staff has sought out for her in relief situations. UConn The Huskies did not waste any time in the bottom of the seventh inning as Lexi Hastings got them started with a single, which was also her third hit of the night. A groundout by Aziah James allowed Hastings to advance to scoring position at second base. Grace Jenkins had the scene for a walk-off set up perfectly and she capitalized on it. G.Grace Jenkins drove in her team leading 30th run of the season which allowed Hastings to score the winning run. UConn celebrated the 2-1 walk-off win in front of the sold out crowd and got the series against Butler started on a high note.
The series continued on Saturday where the Huskies bats were on fire and clinched their sixth straight series win. Payton Kinney started on the mound for UConn and earned her 10th win of the season. She pitched four innings and accumulated four strikeouts. This is the second time that Kinney has reached a double-digit winning season in her career with the Huskies as she had 11 wins in her freshman year.
Savannah Ring got the Huskies offense started in the second inning with a single to center field which scored Jana Sanden and Makenzie Mason, giving UConn an early 2-0. Butler responded in the third inning, although it came from a bases loaded walk and would be their only run of the day.
The Huskies bounced back in the bottom half of the inning with a hit off the bat of
H.Hope Jenkins. Her single to left field scored Sanden from second base and extended UConn’s lead to 3-1.
In the fifth inning, O’Neil came in relief for Kinney and finished out the last two innings in the circle. She added four strikeouts and kept Butler scoreless for the remainder of the game.
The Huskies offense exploded in the bottom of the fifth inning where they sent all nine batters in the lineup to the batter’s box. James got UConn going with a single to center field. Grace
G. Jenkins hit her team-leading 10th double of the season which drove in James to make the score 4-1 Huskies. A single to left field from Garcia drove Grace G. Jenkins home from second base, it was also her 14th RBI of the season, making the game 5-1. Then, Lauren Benson put down a sacrifice bunt which moved two runners into scoring position. However,
The game ended in the sixth inning, the Huskies sealed their sixth run-rule win of the season. Grace
G. Jenkins got the winning hit for the second game in a row after opening the series with a walk-off.
The series wrapped up on Sunday afternoon. The Huskies celebrated senior day at Burrill Family Field with James and assistant coach Ashley Buschgans being honored with their families before the first pitch.
Kinney started in the circle again for the Huskies. She pitched for six innings and finished with five strikeouts. Butler jumped out to an early lead after Monique Hoosen hit a two-run homer, scoring Dorsett and gaining a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
UConn got on the board in the third inning. Due to an error made by Butler, Hastings was able to score off of a hit by James. After Kinney allowed the two-run homer in the first inning, she kept the Bulldogs scoreless for the next five innings.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Ring delivered big for the Huskies. A base off of the bat of Ring to right-center field drove in Garcia and Hope
. Jenkins. There was a critical shift in momentum after this play which gave the Huskies the 3-2 lead.
O’Neil came in relief for Kinney in the seventh inning to close out the game. O’Neil got the job done and clinched the Huskies third straight series sweep with the 3-2 victory on senior day.
Connecticut softball had been on a roll. This series improved the Huskies record to a 28-11 overall record (.718 pct) and 15-3 in conference play (.833 pct). UConn sits at No. 1 in the Big East conference standings with No. 2 Seton Hall (12-3 record) and No. 3 Butler (9-6 record) trailing behind. The Huskies have dominated pitching and have had production in their offense which has led them to success.
The Huskies will now prepare to host Hostra in Storrs on Wednesday, April 19 with first pitch set for 4:00 p.m
.. The game will be streamed on UConn+.