Bulls lose three of four in Louisville
The softball team traveled to Louisville, Ky., this weekend for the second of its five tournaments to open the season - Buffalo's first home game isn't until March 27.
The Bulls (2-7) opened the tournament with an extra-inning win but proceeded to drop their next three games.
In the opening showdown, the squad defeated Mid-American Conference opponent Kent State (2-6), 3-2 in eight innings. After junior outfielder Holly Luciano reached second to start what proved to be the final inning, sophomore catcher Alexis Curtiss immediately hit a single to drive in the game-winning run.
"I think we started off great," said head coach Jennifer Teague. "We had a great team effort beating [Kent State]."
The Bulls notched just one hit in their 4-1 loss the following day against Eastern Illinois (4-4).
"I think we had a bit of a win hangover going into our first game with Eastern Illinois Saturday," Teague said. "We didn't hit well at all."
Saturday proved to be a tough day altogether, as the Bulls faced the No. 18 team in the country after their loss against Eastern. Louisville (10-2) defeated the Bulls 9-3.
"I think we played the No. 18 team in the country pretty tough," Teague said. "Unfortunately, the pitching just wasn't quite deep enough to handle their hitters."
The score was 3-3 through five innings, but the Bulls' pitching staff gave up a whopping six runs in the bottom of the sixth.
The sixth-inning woes continued in Buffalo's final game of the tournament. The Bulls squared off with Eastern Illinois for the second time and surrendered a three-run sixth inning, as they fell 7-6.
Curtiss led the team at the plate with five hits and three runs batted in (RBI) over the weekend. Through nine games, Curtiss is leading the team in hits (seven), RBIs (five) and slugging percentage (.423).
Freshman pitcher Dani Cowan appeared in every game for the Bulls and gave up six earned runs in 14.1 innings. The freshman has pitched 26.2 innings this season - more than twice as much as any other pitcher - and despite being 0-3 on the season, she holds the team's best earned run average (ERA) thus far (4.72).
"Our bottom line is we've got to find a way to win and I think we're really close to finding that force to winning consistently," Teague said.
The Bulls gave up 22 runs to their opponents in the four games.
Next weekend, the Bulls will play in the Marshall Tournament, which will feature Marshall, Robert Morris and Eastern Illinois. They'll play in five games in the tournament.
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