The Bulls head to Madeira Beach
Women’s softball heads south this weekend for invitational
The softball team is heading to the sunny shores of Florida for week three of the 2018 Eastern Michigan University Madeira Beach Spring Invitational starting Friday.
The Bulls (5-7, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) head in having gone 4-0 in the Hampton Classic this past weekend. The team has already won more than half the games they did last season. Here is a breakdown of all five games the Bulls are scheduled for this weekend.
Vs. The La Salle Explorers (0-4)
The Bulls play their first game Friday at 11 a.m. against the Explorers. The Explorers have yet to win or earn more than two runs in a game this season. The Bulls have shown better performances hitting this season so the game shouldn’t be close. Sophomore infielder Jenelle Martinez has been connecting at the plate with a .462 average and four home runs already. The Explorers have only been able to hold their opponents to less than six points once this season.
Vs. The Incarnate Word Cardinals (0-4)
The Cardinals have not played since Feb. 10, coming off the cancelled Baylor Invitational. Despite not having a win, the Cardinals have had some solid pitching performances, including a close 2-0 game against the Texas Longhorns (6-8). If the Cardinals have a glaring issue, it is that no one on the team has found their groove hitting. The Bulls spent the recent Youngstown Invitational showing they could pick runs when the game was close. The deciding factor will be how much progress the Cardinals have made since their last outing. If they can get more hits going, it could be a back and forth game. The game is on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
Vs. Alabama State University Hornets (4-10)
The Hornets come in on a seven-game losing streak. They have gone runless in their last three games, despite starting the season with some solid performances. Similar to the Cardinals, the Hornets have been unable to find a consistent hitter on the team over the past seven games. The Bulls have been getting solid hitting performances from redshirt freshman utility player Anna Aguon and junior catcher Catrell Robertson. Robertson was the top scorer for the Bulls last season when they went 9-46. Aguon has a .439 average and three home runs this season. The game is scheduled for Saturday at 6:30 p.m. If the Bulls come into this game with two wins, they may have too much momentum to stop.
Vs. The Northern Kentucky Norse (2-2)
The Norse have only played four games, but have already gotten solid performances from the pitching rotation. The team won its previous two games, holding its opponents to four points or less. If the Norse can start connecting more at the plate, they could cause trouble for the Bulls. Buffalo has not had a stellar pitching season, giving up 23 runs in the game against the Long Beach State softball team (12-3). In recent performances, the Bulls have looked better, giving up 13 runs in the past four games combined. If the Bulls show up on the mound, the Norse may not have a chance to contend for the lead. The game is scheduled for Sunday at 11:30 a.m.
Vs. The Seton Hall Pirates (7-6)
The biggest threat the Bulls face all weekend will be Seton Hall. The Pirates have been able to pick up wins in close games and come in off a 9-7 win against the Virginia Cavaliers (6-9). Pirates senior infielder Alexis Walkden has a .350 average and four homeruns already this season. Walkden was the 2017 Big East Conference player of the year and remains the Pirates’ most dangerous player. If the Bulls can continue their momentum throughout the weekend they could pick up five wins while in Florida. The game is scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m.
Thomas Zafonte is the senior sports editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org