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Huskies offense continues to sputter

By Matt Stypulkoski
On April 25, 2012

The usually smooth-running UConn offense has come off its tracks over the last several days.

Beginning at Dodd Stadium on Saturday against Rutgers and continuing on Tuesday in Storrs against Bryant, the Huskies bats have produced just one run in their last two games, and managed just 14 hits for their efforts. Of those 14 hits, nine have come after two outs were already recorded in the inning, and none of those nine runners were brought around to score. UConn has also only produced five walks and one hit by pitch over the stretch, for a total of just 19 baserunners in the two games.

In total, the Huskies have been outscored 22-1 during their slump; this following a doubleheader on Friday night against Rutgers in which they scored nine runs in both contests.

Coach Jim Penders credited the opposing pitching staffs with giving his team trouble, but also said his hitters were simply trying to do too much at times at the plate.

"I felt some of our at-bats were trying to hit a five-run homer instead of just finding a way to stay with an approach and get on base and move them over," Penders said. "And you take away some of the running game when they're out ahead."

The bottom half of the order has struggled to get hits the most during the two games, as the 6-7-8-9 hitters went a combined 6-for-30.

With the rocky pitching performances and sloppy play in the field as of late, Penders said that it was a matter of time before the Huskies luck would run out.

"You dig a hole, and we've been successful in digging our way out of those but this past weekend even against Rutgers you're kind of laughing because you realize we're not playing good baseball and we're able to win," Penders said. "Eventually that process of playing baseball catches up with you and you're going to have negative results and the last two games we've seen some negative results for sure."

UConn will need to right the ship and get their bats back in order if they hope to continue their pursuit of the Big East regular season championship this weekend, as they travel to No. 20 Louisville, who sits a game behind the Huskies in the title race.  

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