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Friday, June 23, 2017

Softball

Rebounding from tough stretch, Cougars return to conference play


In a Sunday two-game sweep the Cougars scored four more runs than they had in the previous four games combined. | Hendrick Rosemond/ The Daily Cougar

In a Sunday two-game sweep the Cougars scored four more runs than they had in the previous four games combined. | Hendrick Rosemond/ The Daily Cougar

Cougar softball (17-17 overall, 2-1 conference) is moving into its second week of conference play as it hosts the UConn Huskies (13-16, 1-1) this weekend.

The Cougars are coming from their doubleheader against Lamar, where they won the first game and dropped the next.

The doubleheader was the last two games of a five-game, out-of-conference stretch where the Cougars didn’t find much success. In the past week, they’ve lost to McNeese and dropped two games to Texas. However, they didn’t lose by more than two runs.

Returning to conference play will give the Cougars the opportunity to return to form. They won their first in-conference series against UCF two weeks ago and look to repeat that performance.

UConn is also coming off a split doubleheader against Hofstra. The Huskies have had more success than the Cougars in their past five games, winning three of them, but struggled earlier in the season.

The Huskies are led by the impressive performance of freshman pitcher Katie Koshes. In their win over Hofstra, she pitched the entire game and struck out seven. In their last five games, Koshes boasts a 3-0 record and a .39 ERA.

At bat, UConn has three players at or above .300. Redshirt senior Valerie Sadowl leads the team with .325, followed by freshmen Carli Cutler and Kiwi McDaniel at .318 and .300, respectively.

For the Cougars, it’ll be up to freshman Trystan Melancon and sophomore Savannah Heebner in the pitching circle. They boast a 2.41 and 2.43 ERA, respectively.

The Cougars have the best batters going into the series.

Senior third baseman Shelby Miller leads the league with a .690 slugging percentage and 37 RBI. Sophomore leftfielder Maya Thomas ranks second in the American Athletic Conference with a .436 batting average, with freshman second baseman Arielle James in sixth with a .376 average.

The series is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 12 p.m. Sunday in the Cougar Softball Stadium.

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