May 5, 2014
STORRS, Conn. – UConn Softball will take on a familiar foe on Thursday in the First Round of the American Athletic Conference Championship in Houston, Texas. The Huskies will face the Central Florida Knights, against whom they closed the regular season in a three-game series this past weekend in Connecticut. The Knights (39-15, 15-3 American) topped the Huskies to clinch the top seed in the conference tournament and win the inaugural regular season crown in The American. The Huskies (13-37, 3-17 American) will look to toppled the Knights as the eighth-seeded team in the championship.
Game time is set for 4:00 p.m. CDT on Thursday afternoon in Houston. All games will take place at Cougar Stadium on the University of Houston campus. The matchup will be broadcasted live over the American Digital Network, with Lincoln Rose and Leah Secondo on the call. A link to the feed has been provided above.
For complete championship information, follow the link posted above to The American Championship Central. The conference will also utilize the Twitter handle @American_Champs and use the hashtag #AmericanSB.
The Huskies will look to snap a three-game skid against the Knights after falling in the final series of the regular season. UConn is 1-6 against UCF in seven meetings against the Knights, with the last win coming on March 2, 2013 in a 4-3 victory in Tampa.
Sadowl Having Breakout Season
No player has posted better numbers this season than sophomore second baseman Valerie Sadowl (Horsham, Pa.). After a mere five runs, nine hits, one home run and seven RBI’s in 23 games last season, Sadowl has rebounded for an excellent 2014 campaign.
Leading the squad in nearly every offensive category, Sadowl ranks first on the team in batting average (.336), runs (21), doubles (9), walks (18) and home runs (6). Her 39 hits are the third-highest on the team and the 21 runs she has driven are second-best on the squad. Her .336 batting average ranks 14th in the conference and her slugging percentage of .586 ranks seventh among league contenders.
Fyfe Finds the Long Ball
Sophomore left fielder Heather Fyfe (Bedford, N.H.) entered her second season at Connecticut without a home run, but has since recorded three home runs in the last 19 days. She tallied her first career homer in dramatic fashion, blasting a grand-slam to put the Huskies ahead of Hartford in an eventual 12-1 rout on April 16. Once getting a taste for the long ball, the sophomore recorded her second of the season just three days later in the final game of a three-game set against Temple on April 19. The left fielder delivered another bomb in the regular season finale against UCF in a 12-5 setback on Sunday afternoon.
Sophomore Class Making Big Contributions
A relatively young Husky squad boasts only three seniors and sophomore-heavy roster of eight second-year players. Three of the top six hitters in the UConn lineup are sophomores, led by Sadowl. At least five sophomores have started in every game for Connecticut, which bodes well for the future of the program since the class has combined to account for over half of the Huskies’ total runs (89 of 160) and nearly half of the total hits (142 of 301).
Head Coach Karen Mullins (UConn ‘79) has been at the helm for 31 seasons and has accumulated an 859-598-5 overall coaching record. Her 800th career win came in March of the 2011 sesaon when the Huskies blasted Colorado St., 17-4, to reach the milestone. Mullins is one of just 15 active Division I coaches to boast 800 career wins.