Softball takes three out of four from intrastate rivals
Published: Monday, October 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2012 23:10
After competing against two in-state rivals, the UConn softball team walked away from this weekend winning three out of their four games in what proved to be several very strong performances for the team.
The Huskies competed against Eastern Connecticut and Quinnipiac in double headers on Friday and Saturday, respectively. The team managed to shut out Eastern in each of the seven-inning games, winning 14-0 and 7-0. Against Quinnipiac, the team split the double header, winning the first game 2-1, but falling short in the second game 4-3. Winning three of four games this weekend, though, was certainly enough to satisfy Head Coach Karen Mullins, who has been coaching the team for nearly three decades.
“We played very well,” said Mullins. “We shut [Eastern] out both games and played just real strong ball.”
The team used all four starting pitchers, giving them each the opportunity to pitch and have their performance evaluated. In the first game against Quinnipiac, senior Kiki Saveriano was on the mound, pitching 5.0 innings and giving up only one earned run. Saveriano’s control was in question near the beginning of the game, as she gave up a home run to the first batter and hit the second batter with a pitch in the second inning. However, her control continued to grow stronger throughout the game, finishing with an impressive seven strikeouts and one walk. Freshman Alyson Ambler came on as the relief pitcher for the final two innings, retiring the first four batters she faced and ending the game by catcwhing a comebacker to throw out the runner on first.
“I felt good,” said Saveriano. “It’s always interesting having to come out in the fall and get restarted and play games. When we played [Quinnipiac] last season, it was towards the end of the season and I think I was probably a little bit burnt out at that point. This time I think I was definitely more in it mentally.”
In the second game against Quinnipiac, junior Katelyn Callahan took the mound, pitching 5.0 innings and giving up two earned runs. The other two runs scored were unearned. Callahan also recorded three strikeouts while surrendering only one walk. In the sixth inning, sophomore Lauren Duggan came in as the relief pitcher, retiring the side in the sixth and finishing the game strong, only giving up two hits in the seventh.
The Huskies’ offense in first two games was impressive. Against Eastern, the team put up strong offensive numbers, with junior Audrey Grinnell going four-for-six with a walk and junior Andrea Huelsenbeck and sophomore Emily O’Donnell going three-for-six, each with a walk. The offense, however, was not as strong against Quinnipiac, with the entire team mustering only nine hits between the two games. Senior Kim Silva was the brightest spot in the offense during the two games, going three-for-five and reaching on an error. Huelsenbeck also managed to go three-for-six in the series.
“I thought we made some young mistakes,” said Mullins. “We weren’t as strong at the plate [against Quinnipiac], making the adjustments we needed to.”
Even with the lackluster performance in the final game of the weekend, the team still walked away with a strong performance overall. The team’s next challenge will be to face off with regional rival University of Maine in a double header on Sunday in the final games of the fall season, since the originally postponed games with the University of Albany have been cancelled.