Softball: Huskies set to travel to Creighton for three-game series 

The Huskies claim a victory over UMass 5-0 on Wednesday, April 5, 2023 at Burrell Family Field in Storrs. The Huskies will return on Friday, April 7 at 6:00 p.m. Photo by Izzi Barton/The Daily Campus

After sweeping Butler at home, the UConn softball team is set for their next series where they will travel to Omaha, Nebraska to face Creighton.  

The Huskies were scheduled to have a midweek matchup against Hofstra at Burrill Family Field at the Connecticut Softball Complex, but it was canceled at the last minute. The Huskies now look ahead to their next opponent in Creighton. 

Connecticut will enter the series with a 28-11 (.718) overall record and a 15-3 (.833) record in conference action. The Huskies currently sit at No. 1 in the Big East conference with Seton Hall trailing at No. 2 holding a 12-3 (.800) conference record. UConn just completed their third straight series sweep against Butler with their dominant pitching and productive offense, putting them on a three-game winning streak. The Huskies look to continue this pattern this weekend against the Bluejays and stay atop of the Big East conference standings.  

At the beginning of the week, UConn announced that Lexi Hastings was named to the Big East Honor Roll for the third week in a row. Hastings has been hot in the leadoff spot for the Huskies, producing six hits (.400). Last week in UConn’s matchup with ACC contender Boston College, she brought in the game-tying run. The sophomore outfielder blasted a two-run home run to center field on the final strike of the seventh inning. In total this week, Hastings registered three RBI’s, scoring three herself, with three additional base hits.  

Meghan O’Neil was also named to the Big East Honor Roll after her lights-out relief pitching performances. The senior made four critical appearances for the Big East-leading Huskies in their sweep of conference opponent Butler, going 3-1 in total. O’Neil carried a 0.75 ERA with nine strikeouts over her 8.1 innings pitched. In the series finale against Butler where the Huskies won 3-2, O’Neil closed out the game with a nine-pitch 1-2-3 inning for her sixth save of the season which is second in the NCAA. 

The Creighton Bluejays are coming into the series with a 18-24 (.429) overall record) and a 4-11 (.267) record in conference play. In their last two series, the Bluejays are 1-1, and they currently sit at No. 6 in the Big East conference. For offense, Creighton is hitting .286 with 61 doubles, 34 home runs and 190 runs scored. Junior leadoff hitter Cayla Nielsen leads six Bluejays who have a batting average over .300 with her personal .353 batting average. Nielsen is ranked second on the team with 41 hits and 29 runs which hugely paces Creighton.  

For pitching, Creighton owns a 3.73 ERA with 205 strikeouts in the span of 264.2 innings. Freshman Natalia Puchino (11-11) and junior Payton Akers (5-6) have carried in the circle for the Bluejays this season. Puchino leads the pitching staff with a 3.24 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 125.1 innings. Akers is not far behind with a 3.65 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 61.1 innings of work. Although their record may not showcase it, Creighton has some weapons on their squad that the Huskies should not take lightly coming into the matchup.  

The series will commence on Friday, April 21 at 5 p.m. It will continue on Saturday, April 22 with first pitch at 2 p.m. Finally, the series will conclude on Sunday, April 23 starting at 1 p.m. All of the games through the weekend will be streamed on FloSports. 

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