Softball welcomes Terriers in final non-conference game
The UConn softball team will play its final nonconference game of the season on Thursday evening when it hosts Boston University in Storrs.
The Huskies (25-24, 7-12 Big East) were inconsistent down the stretch in April. After reeling off a season-high five straight wins, UConn only won three out of its last seven games to end the month.
With only four games remaining on the schedule, UConn may find itself looking ahead to their weekend series, a three-game series against DePaul (28-19, 14-5 Big East) that will determine the Huskies' postseason fate. UConn is in a tie for eighth place with Rutgers in the Big East standings, but they fall to ninth after tiebreakers. Only the top eight teams in the standings will qualify for the conference tournament next weekend.
If the Huskies are going to recover from their recent run of inconsistency, they will need senior pitcher Kiki Saveriano to be the ace she has been for most of the year. Saveriano picked up her 15th win of the season on Tuesday against Boston College. For two weeks prior to Tuesday's victory, Saveriano had been dealing with soreness in her pitching hand, and she did not display the dominance she has had for most of the season.
After Saveriano's appearance on Tuesday, Lauren Duggan may be in line for the start on Thursday. Duggan has settled in as the No. 2 on the pitching staff behind Saveriano, and is 6-5 in 18 appearances with a 4.15 ERA. In 11 starts, she has thrown five complete games and struck out 42 batters for the Huskies.
Aside from a doubleheader at Notre Dame where the bats went ice cold, UConn's offense has shown marked improvement since the beginning of the five-game winning streak in mid-April. Excluding the two games against the Fighting Irish, when UConn scored a total of one run, the Huskies have averaged 7.5 runs per game since April 17. Prior to that, UConn had averaged 3.4 runs per game for the entire season.
Leading the way for the Huskies offensively is Marissa Guches. The senior leads the team with a .386 batting average, 37 RBIs and 14 doubles, and she is second on the team with six home runs.
Boston University (20-23-1, 8-6 America East) enters the game on the back of a three-game sweep against Maine, which vaulted the Terriers into third place in America East. April was a month of streaks for BU. An 11-8 loss to UConn on April 3 extended their losing steak to three games. After that, they won two games in a row, then lost three, then won six, then lost three, and they are now on a three-game winning streak.
First pitch for Thursday's game is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Burrill Family Field.
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