Central Connecticut and Hofstra next up for UConn
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2013 23:03
After another successful weekend in Florida, the UConn softball team will play a little bit closer to home this weekend, traveling to Hempstead, N.Y. to compete in the Hofstra Invitational.
The Huskies (8-6) will face Hofstra (7-8) and Central Connecticut (4-3) on Saturday and Sunday, playing both teams twice over the course of the tournament.
This is the team’s fourth and final tournament of the regular season, capping off what amounts to one of the team’s stronger starts recently.
In their first 14 games this season, the Huskies found a great amount of success against their opponents. The tournaments at FIU, FAU and UCF held over the past three weekends have provided UConn with opportunities to compete with a variety of teams, including two games with Big East rivals Providence and Villanova.
In comparison, the Huskies were far less successful in the first 14 games of last season. The team went on an eight-game losing streak early, which left them with a 5-9 record halfway through the Hofstra Invitational. This season, however, the Huskies have walked away from each of their first three tournaments with records of .500 or greater, giving them the 8-6 record they currently hold.
Consistent at-bats have provided the team with a significant boost since the beginning of the season. Junior Maddy Schiappa is continuing her strong start, maintaining the team-highs in batting average (.412), hits (21) and on-base percentage (.412). Senior Marissa Guches is also starting off her season well, with a .356 batting average and a team-high .489 slugging percentage.
However, the key to nearly every win this season has come from the mound. Senior Kiki Saveriano has been almost unstoppable, piecing together an impressive 6-1 record and 1.28 ERA. For the sake of comparison, Saveriano started off her first seven games last season with a 3-4 record. Without their pitching ace on the mound, the team is 2-5, emphasizing how significant of a role she has played so far this season.
Coach Karen Mullins knew how important Saveriano would be before the team left for the FIU Tournament in the beginning of February. Mullins said that Saveriano would be seen as a leader for a team looking to leave a mark in a Big East that will change drastically at the end of this season.
Following this weekend’s tournament, the team will kick off their regular competition schedule, starting with a game at Sacred Heart on Tuesday, March 19.