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Thursday, May 30, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

California love

Many students at UB would love to be living in California, but for one freshman, moving from the Golden State to the Queen City was a welcoming change.
Softball first baseman Jessica Griffin is a long way from home. But for Griffin, making the trek across the country to join the Bulls was the right choice.
Born and raised in Placentia, Calif., Griffin grew up under the rays of the sun with her feet in the sand for much of her life. Making the transition from fun in the sun to sleet, snow and cold is usually tough for most people. But for Griffin, the weather was overshadowed by more important factors when she decided to come to Buffalo.
"When I came on my visit here I really liked the environment. I felt like I was on a college campus [and] everyone was really dedicated to making sure that athletes had the academic focus that we needed," Griffin said. "[They had a] really strong work ethic and I liked the diversity of the school."
As an international studies major, diversity played a large role in Griffin's decision to attend Buffalo. She felt that understanding where people came from was very important.
Griffin has started every game for the Bulls at first base this season and has made her presence in the line up felt by opponents.
Just ask Louisiana Tech.
In the third game of a triple-header, Griffin went 2-for-4 with four RBIs and blasted her first career home run in a 10-7 victory over the Lady Techsters.
"It was very exciting to get those first few hits out of the way, [and getting my] first home run out of the way felt great," Griffin said.
Difference making performances from Griffin will be a common sight in the near future as she progresses and learns the ways of playing Division I softball. Griffin feels that her best attributes were on display during the Tech game.
"I like to feel like I bring power to the team. I really want to bring clutch timing and a presence," Griffin said.
But Griffin has a bigger goal that she would like to accomplish: bringing home a Mid-American Conference Championship is something she feels the team can accomplish this season.
"I really want to win [the] MAC," Griffin said. "Definitely the goal is to get to the MAC tournament and be champions there and [then] go to regionals and so forth."
During spring break, the softball team traveled to California to play games in San Diego and Long Beach, a homecoming of sorts for Griffin. San Diego is roughly two hours from her hometown and Long Beach was a short drive of 20 minutes.
Griffin was excited for the opportunity to play close to home as her family and friends attended the games. She looked forward to catching some of her high school team's games while she was back on the west coast as well.
Although she is enjoying Buffalo, Griffin did admit it would be nice to get back to the more desirable weather of southern California.
"Weather [in California] was great," Griffin said. "[A] tiny difference from here."

E-mail: sports@ubspectrum.com


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