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Softball Opens Season in Jacksonville

Huskies open on Friday against Army (PC: Steve Slade).
Huskies open on Friday against Army (PC: Steve Slade).
Feb. 8, 2018


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - UConn softball begins its 2018 season this weekend in the Jacksonville Softball Tournament, as it prepares to play five games over a three-day span against Army, Jacksonville and Jacksonville State at the Debbie and Fred Pruitt Softball Complex.

The Huskies, led by fourth-year head coach Jen McIntyre, play doubleheaders on both Friday and Saturday, with the weekend finale on Sunday morning. Live stats and updates @UConnSoftball on Twitter will be available.

Complete weekend schedule is below:

FRIDAY - UConn vs. Army - 10:30 a.m. (Live Stats)

          UConn vs. Jacksonville - 3:30 p.m. (Live Stats)

SATURDAY - UConn vs. Jacksonville State - 10:30 a.m. (Live Stats)

          UConn vs. Jacksonville - 3:30 p.m. (Live Stats)

SUNDAY - UConn vs. Army - 10:00 a.m. (Live Stats)

Six freshmen join UConn for 2018, teaming up with eight sophomores for a total of 14 underclassmen on the roster. Impact from the youngsters will be crucial, as the Huskies have only five upperclassmen, including a three-player senior class.

Last season, the Huskies went 17-31 (3-14 American) and look to bounce back with a deep pitching rotation and versatile lineup. Sophomore Carli Cutler returns as the team's leading hitter, recording a .309 batting average in her freshman season.

It is the first of six early-season tournaments for the Huskies, with trips to South Carolina, Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas on the docket.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS

Army went 36-21 (10-8 Patriot) in the 2017 season, reaching the Patriot League semifinals before losing to top-seeded Lehigh. A 10-player freshman class highlights the Black Knights' roster, while junior Ashley Yoo returns after a team-best .329 batting average as a sophomore.

Jacksonville, the host school, went 30-25 (8-10 ASUN) in 2017 and boasts a seven-player senior class to form an experienced roster. The Dolphins return their top home run hitter, RBI-producer and batting average leader from a year ago.

Jacksonville State reached the NCAA Tallahassee Regional last season after a stellar 41-12 (15-1 Ohio Valley Conference) record. The Gamecocks have 13 upperclassmen, returning the mass majority of its team from 2017. At the conclusion of last season, they earned votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Poll.

STARTING ON TIME

Due to a snowstorm on the expected travel day last year, the Huskies had to cancel their participation in the FGCU Softball Tournament. The season actually started the following weekend in the UTC Chattanooga Challenge. With no such issues on Thursday, UConn's season is starting on time.

RETURNING PRODUCTION

The Huskies graduated just three seniors from 2017 and return 13 players - accounting for almost 77-percent of hits and 76-percent of RBI. In the pitcher's circle, UConn brings back just over 94-percent of innings pitched and nearly 95-percent of strikeouts.


 

 

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