After the cancellation of UConn softball’s fall ball opener against Boston College, it’s finally time for them to get going. The Huskies have a loaded weekend, which the team will start by traveling down Interstate 95 South on Saturday, Sept. 30 to Fairfield, Connecticut for a doubleheader. They will match up against Fordham at 12:45 p.m. then conclude the day with a 3:00 p.m. game against Fairfield. They will then return home to Storrs on Sunday, Oct. 1 for another doubleheader, with both games against Bridgeport. The first game will begin at noon and the second game will follow at 2:30 p.m. Admission is free for both games.
Since the last time UConn has played, they have hired two new assistant coaches. Mackenzie Keyes and Nikki Cuccio both join the Huskies coaching staff under head coach Laura Valentino.
The Huskies also added two new transfer right-handed pitchers to their roster. Hallie Siems is coming to Connecticut after spending the first three years of her collegiate career at the University of Memphis. In her time with the Tigers, she made 89 appearances, pitched 289 innings and had 206 strikeouts. Last season, she led the team’s pitching staff with 91 strikeouts in 22 starts, with 11 complete games on the mound.
“Hallie brings experience and poise to the mound, and I am looking forward to seeing her love for the game shine in her last year of college softball. I am confident Hallie will leave a mark on UConn softball in her single year as a Husky,” said Valentino.
Sydnee Koosh is also joining the Huskies from Robert Morris University where she played one year for the Colonials. She also played travel softball for the Ohio Wolfpack and Ohio Outlaws. In 2022, she threw five hitters and led her county in earned run average as well as strikeouts. She was awarded All-Federal League and All-Northeast Ohio titles after tallying 244 strikeouts in 170 innings with a 1.89 ERA.
“I am excited to see Sydnee’s drive and competitiveness flourish here at UConn,” said Valentino. “Sydnee’s fire will impact our pitching staff and will be an integral part of UConn softball winning a championship.”
UConn will begin their fall ball weekend at home against Bridgeport. The Purple Knights finished last season with a 30-23 overall record and 16-8 record in conference play. They have some threats on offense with third baseman Mya Jones and outfielder Gabby Simms. Both of them earned 2023 NFCA All-East Region accolades. The Huskies’ two games against Bridgeport will allow them to get many innings and experience against their fellow Connecticut-based team.
Fordham finished last season with a 20-28 overall record and an 11-10 conference record. Three of their players earned National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Region (Northeast) Team honors. Bailey Enoch was named to the First Team as a utility player and a pitcher, and Neleh Nogay was selected as an outfielder on the First Team All-Conference. Holly Beeman was named to the Third Team as she was A-10 Pitcher of the Week once and led the Atlantic 10 in ERA.
Lastly, Fairfield wrapped up their last season with a 22-25 record and a 11-9 record in conference play. They have a threat in Charli Warren, who was named to the 2023 NFCA All-Northeast Region Second Team. Warren finished the season as the team’s best hitter with a .342 batting average as well as the top hitter in the MAAC conference (.379 avg). This is not the only award she has received during her time as a Stag. She’s also received nods to the All-MAAC Team and the MAAC All-Rookie Team last year. She finished off her freshman campaign with being named MAAC co-Rookie of the Year. Warren will definitely be a handful for the Huskies pitching staff, but it’s a great test for the fall ball season.
The Huskies will be seeing all Connecticut and northeast teams this weekend, spreading from Storrs to Fairfield County. UConn will kick off their weekend on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Fairfield. The first game starts at 12:45 p.m. against Fordham.