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Softball: Huskies look to rebound in home game against Sacred Heart

By Dan Madigan
On April 30, 2014

  • UConn sophomore infielder Val Sadowl bats during a softball game earlier this season at the Burrill Family Field.

After rain canceled the Huskies' final away game of the season against Boston College, the UConn softball team (13-34, 3-14 the American) looks to bounce back from a three-game sweep at Rutgers with a makeup home game against Sacred Heart (12-30, 1-15 Northeast Conference) that was originally scheduled for March 25.
The Pioneers head into their final game of the regular season with a 13-game losing streak. Sacred Heart's offense has been an issue all season, as there are no hitters batting .300 or higher. Junior infielder Justine Sibthorp and senior catcher Annie Dreher represent a bulk of the Pioneer's offensive output. Sibthorp leads the team with a .291 batting average, and Dreher leads Sacred Heart with 17 RBI, five home runs and 35 hits.
One area where the Pioneers have excelled this season is in the circle. Freshman Jamie Carlson has started 19 games with a 3.16 ERA and averaging 6.32 strikeouts per game. Despite the impressive numbers, a lack of run support has given Carlson a 2-15 record, despite a strikeout to walk ratio of 2.67.
Heading into the final home stretch, the Huskies will need to continue to create opportunities to score runs and put pressure on the Pioneers. UConn will need sophomore Val Sadowl to continue what she has done all season. Sadowl's .336 batting average and .431 on base percentage lead the team, and her ability to be a catalyst for the Husky offense by getting on base has been crucial this season.
UConn will also need Emily O'Donnell to build off of her great weekend at Rutgers, where she hit .400 and added a solo home run. The junior third baseman has improved tremendously over the course of the season and has blossomed into a solid middle of the order hitter while playing stellar defense in the hot corner.
A win against Sacred Heart will provide the Huskies with momentum heading into their final conference series against the UCF Knights this weekend. UConn has a chance of escaping last place in the AAC if they can win at least one game against the first-place Knights and Memphis does not sweep Louisville this weekend.
First pitch at Burrill Family Field will be at 3 p.m.

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