Preseason ~By: Kim Silva #15

ImageWell… Here we are again. Pre-season. This time of year means long days, sore bodies and a whole lot of sweat. It will be important to push through the fatigue and stress that preseason inevitably brings to test our limits and help us to be stronger athletes mentally and physically. We have two weeks to prepare for our season. For me, they are the two weeks before my last season as a UConn Husky begins. Two weeks until I play in my last ‘first game of the season’. Two weeks until we leave for my last team trips to Florida. Two and half weeks until we, as a team, begin our journey to the Big East Tournament.

According to the Big East preseason polls however, we won’t ever make it there. We are predicted to finish ninth overall in the Big East this year meaning we wouldn’t qualify for the Big East Championship in Tampa. These polls are calculated from coaches votes based on how our season went last year, the seniors that graduated and who is returning.  These votes do not take into consideration the extremely talented freshmen class that arrived on UConn’s campus in August. These votes do not take into consideration the countless hours our team has spent working together to become a cohesive unit. They do not consider our senior class that wants to make the absolute most of our last season together. And they do not take into consideration the talent that has grown over the last year, the drive within this team to accomplish our goals or the determination we have to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. 

What the Big East can’t see in any box score or on any stat sheet is what will set us apart from our competition this year. We, as a team, know that we are talented, determined and invested in making this season successful. We have set our goals high and will do whatever is necessary to accomplish those goals. Every day we strive to be better, faster and stronger than the day before. We will leave it all on the field and prove that we are a force to be reckoned with in this conference.

 

Our Pack. Our Pride. ~By: Jen Ward #8

One double header down. Many more to go. This past Sunday, we played a game against Eastern Connecticut and Bryant. The first game did not go as anticipated. We lost to “the small school down the street”. I think that loss was good for us, though. We learned very early this year that nothing will be handed to us. Merely showing up to the game will not get us where we need to be and most certainly will not ensure a victory. We came out flat, without any passion to win. We assumed that because we were playing Eastern, we’d win. HA.

When the game was over, I really liked what I saw. I looked around at my teammates, and for the first time in a long time, I saw them pissed off. I knew right then, the next game was going to be better. We decided to take pride in our school and in our team. We weren’t going to lose to Bryant. We came together as a team and we made some noise with our bats. Even with two of our best hitters away for the weekend, we put up 14 hits on the board. Pretty impressive.

I’d like to see us hold onto that feeling we felt after losing to Eastern, and use it to fuel us throughout the year. If we believe in ourselves and in our abilities, and refuse to lose each game we play, we’re going to be a seriously hard team to beat.

UCSB Does Boca ~Written By: Audrey Grinnell #10

The time was finally here, the University of Connecticut softball team made our first trip and opened our season in Boca Raton, Florida.  We played five games between the 25th and 27th of February, against Jacksonville, Maryland, Kent State and Florida Atlantic University.  This was especially an exciting time for the new little Huskies on the team, Andrea Huelsenbeck, Maddy Schiappa, Katelyn Callahan and myself, as it was our first road trip being a part of the Husky softball team.

Aside from the airlines eating a couple of our bags, we landed safely and went straight to work.  That’s right, we had our first practice of the spring outside.  Don’t get me wrong I’m sure everyone on the team agrees that we love the smell and the turf burn that comes along with practicing in Shenkmen, our indoor football facility. However, there was nothing more exciting than practicing with the team outside (eating at the Cheesecake Factory came in a close second).

Throughout the weekend of beautiful weather, we finished strong with two wins.  The first was against Kent State with a final score of 14-5.  After going down by four runs, our UCONN bats came alive.  During the game, our offense was led by senior captain, Julie Towers, who ended the game by run-rule with an RBI triple. Defensively, junior pitcher Ali Adelman looked sharp keeping Kent State quiet, only allowing 2 earned runs.  The second win came against Jacksonville on Sunday and was our strongest game by far.  After being defeated by them on Friday, we came back with our “minds right” and got revenge.  Our whole team contributed to a strong defensive game and  Kiki Saveriano recorded the win on the mound.

Hopefully we can take this momentum into our next stretch of games.  We will be traveling to Georgia, Alabama, and Florida.  We look to keep building on the foundation we set during our first set of games and accept nothing but our best.  As for me, I will keep carrying the miscellaneous bag with Maddy, try to get rid of my eye black tan lines, and do my best to stay out of potentially funny pictures with Coach  Mullins.

Bring it on Georgia!