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Monday, June 17, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Weather and Competition Too Much for Bulls

The softball team found itself washed out by more than its opponents when it traveled to Huntington, W.Va.

Through the rain, the Bulls (2-10) lost both of their games over the weekend in the Marshall Invitational.

In Saturday morning's contest against Presbyterian College (8-2-2), the Bulls were shut out 2-0 by the Blue Hose's defense, led by pitcher Leslie Hensley, who allowed only three hits.

The game quickly became a defensive struggle, as Buffalo's own rising star, freshman pitcher Tori Speckman, struck out a career-high nine batters.

Speckman took the game one pitch at a time, a fundamental strategy that head coach Jennifer Teague stresses to the pitching staff.

"I'm very pleased with the innings she's getting right now and how much maturity she's gaining as a college freshman," Teague said. "It's going to be invaluable down the road in her career."

In the second game of the invite, the Bulls met Marshall (8-9) in a struggle against the elements. As the rain swept over the venue, it became apparent that the Bulls' pitching would be compromised. This was made evident by a six-run surge from the Thundering Herd at the bottom of the fifth inning. The deficit was impossible to overcome, and the Bulls fell 10-4 to the Thundering Herd.

Sophomore infielder Alyssa Ward went 3-for-3 at the plate with one RBI in the Marshall outing.

A winter storm hit the area on Friday and stopped most of the scheduled games, including Buffalo's rematch against Marshall.

The cancellations came at a frustrating time for the team, as the players' blood was still boiling from the previous loss. The team was ready to play Marshall again and avenge a defeat that Teague believed was unjustified.

"I think we would have had them the second time," Teague said. "I don't like to blame the umpires, but when the conditions are unfavorable for the pitchers, and our team was on defense, our pitcher could not even grip the ball or the ground with her cleats. I feel like we had the game stolen from us by the opposition and that didn't really sit well with our team."

The team's endurance will be tested in Florida where they will compete in the FAU Tournament and The Game Tournament. These games will bring the toughest competition the Bulls have seen all season, with contests scheduled against three Big Ten teams. The first pitch against Rutgers is scheduled for Friday at 9 a.m.

E-mail: sports@ubspectrum.com


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