March 4, 2010
STORRS, Conn. - After going 1-3 at the Florida Gulf Coast University Tournament last weekend, UConn returns to the state of Florida for a 10-day tour where they will play 12 games against 10 different teams.
Coming off of a 1-0 extra inning victory over Minnesota at the Florida Gulf Coast University Tournament, the University of Connecticut softball teams heads out on a 10-day trek of Florida beginning at the Miken Classic at Florida Atlantic University.
The Huskies went 1-3 over the course of the weekend dropping games to the host school FGCU, Georgia Southern and splitting with Minnesota. Due to rain, their game against Eastern Michigan was cancelled.
UConn will look to improve their record this weekend when they take on Florida A&M, Miami (OH), Florida State, Eastern Michigan and Florida Atlantic.
Coming into this weekend Florida A&M stands at 7-7 on the season after competing in the the UCF Invite as well as single games throughout the week. Miami of Ohio had their first weekend of softball cancelled but have since played in seven games posting a 3-4 record.
Florida State is off to an amazing start on the year with a 15-2 record falling in their season opener to Southern Miss by a run and then to Illinois, again by just one run. They are currently ranked 18th in both polls.
After their game was cancelled last weekend, the Huskies will take on Eastern Michigan this weekend. The Eagles are 4-3 on the year after opening their season with UConn at the FGCU Invite. Finally, the Huskies will play the host team of Florida Atlantic in their final game of the weekend. FAMU is 6-7 on the year playing some tough games against SEC and Pac 10 teams.
FIRST UP: FLORIDA A&M
SCOUTING FLORIDA A&M: After being snowed out of their first tournament, the Rattlers began their season with a single game against Florida State falling 9-2 in their season opener against the Top-20 ranked team. FAMU moved on to the UCF Classic where they went 3-2 falling to South Carolina and North Florida and defeating Villanova, Troy and the host team UCF in the final day of play.
Since then, the Rattlers have split a pair of doubleheaders with Mercer and North Florida. FAMU fell in game one to Mercer 11-0 but rebounded with a 8-0 win of their own. Against North Florida, the Rattlers earned a 2-1 game one victory before falling in extra innings by the same score in game two.
SERIES PAST: In the past, the Huskies and the Rattlers have met 13 times with UConn holding the series lead 11-2 in a series that began in 1989. FAMU’s lone wins against UConn came in 2001 at the Lady Seminole Invite and on their home turf in 2004. The two teams have never met on the campus of Florida Atlantic. UConn is 6-1 all time in neutral site locations against the Rattlers.
NEXT UP: UConn will take on Miami (OH) in game two of the day in a back-to-back doubleheader.
BATTING SECOND: MIAMI (OH)
SCOUTING MIAMI (OH): The Redhawks first six games of the year were cancelled before playing their season opener in a double header at Samford University in Birmingham. Miami dropped both games 2-1 and 4-1.
They bounced back at the Frost Classic in Chattanooga finishing the weekend with a 3-2 record taking wins from Rutgers, Oakland and Central Connecticut while also falling to Tennessee Tech and the host team of Chattanooga to enter this tournament with a 3-4 record.
SERIES PAST: This will be the fourth time that the Huskies and the Redhawks have met in a series that began in 1990 and the first time since 1998. The Huskies won the first two games of the series taking a 2-0 victory on neutral grounds and a 7-3 win in 1993 at the USF Softball Classic. UConn earned their only loss against Miami in 1998, a 10-8 extra innings loss at the Lady Seminole Invitational.
NEXT UP: The Huskies will return to the diamond against Florida State at 9:00 a.m. in their only game on Saturday in the tournament.
IN THE THREE SPOT: FLORIDA STATE
SCOUTING FLORIDA STATE: Florida State is off to a blistering start to the season opening up with a 15-2 record dropping its two decisions in its season opener against Southern Miss (2-1) and their first game at the NFCA Leadoff Classic to Illinois (4-3) snapping its 11-game win streak.
The Seminoles starter Sarah Hamilton threw two no-hitters last week at the NFCA Leadoff Classic shutting out Hofstra 8-0 and Kent State 6-0 en route to getting the nod of ACC Pitcher of the Week.
SERIES PAST: This will be the 30th meeting of the two teams in a series that began in 1989 and the Seminoles lead 25-4. In the 90’s the two teams battled multiple times a year including four times in 1993 where the Huskies dropped two in the beginning of the year but won two games when it counted at the Diamond Classic in Amherst and at the Women’s College World Series in an extra inning victory.
Recently, the Huskies are on a 13-game skid against the Seminoles with their last victory, a 1-0 10-inning decision, coming in 1997 at Florida State. On neutral ground, the Seminoles have just a one game advantage leading the series 3-2.
NEXT UP: UConn will play a day-night doubleheader to close out the tournament against Eastern Michigan at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday and finishing against the host team of Florida Atlantic at 5:00 p.m.
CLEANING UP: EASTERN MICHIGAN
SCOUTING EASTERN MICHIGAN: The Eagles kicked off their season, like the Huskies at the FGCU Invitational last weekend. The Eagles went 3-2 on the weekend defeating Villanova twice, Georgia Southern once and falling to Minnesota and St. Francis (Pa.). The Eagles continued play in Florida over this week splitting a doubleheader with Florida Gulf Coast taking game one 1-0 and falling in game two 4-1. They have already played Florida Atlantic once this week falling 9-5.
SERIES PAST: The two teams have met just once in series past at the FSU Invite in Tallahassee, Fla. The Huskies earned the 3-2 win in extra innings (8) to have the 1-0 edge in the series record. Their game that was supposed to occur at the FGCU Invite was cancelled due to rain.
NEXT UP: The Huskies finish out their weekend with a game against the host team of Florida Atlantic at 5:00 p.m.
BATTING FIFTH: FLORIDA ATLANTIC
SCOUTING FLORIDA ATLANTIC: The Owls began their season 0-4 at the Elite Invitational against a few of the nation’s powerhouses taking on Oklahoma, UCLA, Chattanooga and Georgia. Their losing streak continued into their FAU Kick-Off Classic where they dropped two extra-inning 2-1 decisions to Kentucky and Maryland before earning their first victories of the season against Minnesota and Mississippi bringing their record to 2-7 for the season.
At the Miken Invitational Tournament last weekend, however, the Owls were a perfect 5-0 on their home turf defeating Loyola twice, Providence, South Carolina and Eastern Michigan to bring their season record to an even 7-7 entering this weekend’s tournament.
SERIES PAST: The two teams have met three times in the past with the Owls holding the 1-2 lead. The series began with a 2-1 10-inning loss to the Owls in 2001 before falling the following year 5-0, both of the losses coming at the Golden Panther Invitational. The Huskies earned their first victory over the Owls in 2006 at the FAU Tournament, a 2-0 decision.
NEXT UP: The Huskies continue their tour of Florida with a neutral site game against Michigan State on Tuesday, March 9 followed by a game at Central Florida on Wednesday, March 10 before they head to the Stetson University Tournament.
TOWERS NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: For the second-straight season, Julianne Towers began her season by being named to an All-Tournament team. Last season, Towers was part of the exclusive All-Tournament team at the Mardi Gras Classic at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette. This year, she was named one of the top infielders at the Florida Gulf Coast University Invitational.
Towers finished the weekend going 3-for-12, with two runs scored. Towers’ had a hit in three of the four games on the weekend recording a .250 batting average and .333 slugging percentage in the four tournament games. She also reached base on multiple occasions in half of the games finishing the weekend with a .400 OBP. Towers came across the plate twice against the host team Florida Gulf Coast where she also recorded her lone multi-base hit of the weekend, a double to right centerfield. She was also near perfect in the field making just one error in 18 chances.
MARTIN ALREADY MAKING IMPACT: Fifth-year senior, Amanda Martin joined the softball team after competing for four years on the womens track and field team at UConn. A nationally recognized javelin thrower, who joined the team as a walk-on in her freshman year, Martin has already made an impact on the UConn softball team going 3-for-9 with a double in her first weekend back to the diamond in over four years at the FGCU Tournament.
HUSKIES TABBED TO FINISH SEVENTH: After finishing the BIG EAST regular season in sixth place, and getting knocked out in the quarterfinal round of the BIG EAST Tournament, the Huskies were picked to finish seventh in the preseason coaches poll. Louisville took the top spot with 2009 BIG EAST Player of the Year Melissa Roth leading a group six returning players for the Cardinals who were All-BIG EAST selections ago. Four squads received first-place votes and topped 110 points in this year’s poll.
SULLIVAN IN THE RECORD BOOKS: Senior Tricia Sullivan already has her names all over the Husky record book. In just over two and a half years on the mound, Sullivan is already seeing her name creep up the records. (Sullivan missed the end of her junior season with a shoulder injury but has rehabbed well and is ready to go in her senior campaign.