March 8, 2010

2010 Season Starts Friday At Stetson Classic

Bulldogs Open With UConn; Also Play Bethune Cookman And Stetson

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale softball team kicks off the 2010 season with a trip to the Stetson Classic this weekend. Yale plays UConn (Friday, 1:30 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m.), Stetson (Friday, 6:30 p.m., Saturday, 4 p.m.) and Bethune Cookman (Saturday, 11:30 a.m.). The recent mild weather in New Haven has allowed the Bulldogs to get some outdoor practice time, but they will be facing teams that kicked off their seasons in February and have already played a number of games.

Yale posted its best Ivy League record (11-9) since 2003 last spring and hopes to build on that. Twelve letterwinners and seven starters return, including All-Ivy outfielders Lauren Huddleston and Ashley Sloan. In addition, senior Kayla Kuretich is back to anchor a talented, but somewhat inexperienced pitching staff.

UConn (2-7) will be completing a week-long stay in Florida. The Huskies, who finished 29-22 overall last year, were picked to finish seventh in the Big East preseason poll. Julianne Towers (.321) and Brittany Duclos (.308) lead the team in batting. Freshman pitcher Kiki Saveriano has both UConn victories and a 1.27 earned run average.

Yale and UConn are playing for the first time since 2004.

Stetson (10-8) is hosting its fifth tournament of the season. The Hatters have outscored their opponents 76-47 in their first 18 games. Amy Joyce leads the team in batting (.441), hits (26), runs (18) and stolen bases (12). Katie Lawrence has a team-best three home runs and 15 RBI. Amanda Lindsey is the ace of the pitching staff. She has an 8-3 overall record with a 0.90 ERA.

The Bulldogs last played at Stetson in 2004.

Bethune Cookman (7-13) returns eight starters from last year's team that reached the MEAC championship series. The Wildcats have hit 14 homers in their 20 games. Allison Garcia has seen a majority of the action in the circle. She has 57 strikeouts in 86 innings.

Yale and Bethune Cookman are playing for only the second time. The Wildcats beat the Bulldogs 6-2 in 2000.

Report filed by Tim Bennett, Yale Sports Publicity

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