Huskies coming to final stretch of softball season
Published: Friday, April 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2012 22:04
With only two weekends left in the regular season, the University of Connecticut softball team will begin their last road stretch of the 2012 regular season this Saturday when they travel to Pennsylvania to take on Pittsburgh.
The Panthers (23-21, 6-10) had gotten off to a hot start in the month of April after winning seven of their first nine games, but have since lost momentum after dropping two out of three to DePaul in Chicago and getting swept in a double-header at Syracuse proving that they are not quite the 37-win team they were from last season. However, the 2012 team that returned seven starters has a few individuals that could make life pretty difficult for the Huskies.
Among those players is the Pittsburgh pitching staff, which includes freshmen hurlers Savannah King and Alexa Larkin. Larkin, who tossed a one-hitter back on April 11 against the visiting Georgetown Hoyas, has three shutouts on the season to go along with her six wins. King (16-14) has enjoyed a very consistent season up to this point, during which she’s tossed over 20 complete games and 157 strikeouts (good to put her second on the Pittsburgh single-season strikeout lists).
When on the mound, the Huskies are going to have to look out for junior catcher Holly Stevens, who has provided the bulk of the long ball game for the Panthers this season. Stevens, who already holds the all-time school home run record with 27, already has nine homers on the season including two in Pittsburgh’s April 14 win over DePaul.
The Panther’s return home for their three-game-set against the Huskies this weekend, marking the end of their road games for the semester.
The series should prove to be pivotal for the Panthers, who are currently on the outside looking in for the Big East Championships.
Connecticut will be relying on its consistent pitching staff this weekend, which has been including freshman hurler Lauren Duggan to complement Kiki Saveriano more often. Duggan was critical in UConn’s double-header against DePaul yesterday, allowing only one earned run in four innings of work in the win over the Blue Demons.
As the team has been able to do all season, the Huskies will be able to rely on senior outfielder Amy Vaughan for an offensive boost. Among others, senior third baseman Amy DeLuca, who scored a clutch run in UConn’s win over DePaul yesterday, will serve to assist Vaughan when the Huskies are at the plate.
The Huskies and Pittsburgh start off this action at 12 p.m. with the first game of their double-header. The second game, scheduled for 2 p.m., will begin shortly after. The final game of the series will begin at 12 p.m. this Saturday. All games will be played at Vartabedian Field at the Peterson Sports Complex in Pittsburgh.
UConn will stay on the road after this weekend when it travels to Jamaica, N.Y. for a double-header with the Red Storm of St. John’s. The Huskies then return home for the finish of the season for a one-game match-up with Hartford before Syracuse comes into town for three games.