Softball celebrates its seniors
Saturday marked the end of softball’s season and the end of the careers of five seniors: Ally Power, Alissa Karjel, Catrell Robertson, Lace Smith and Alyssa Cuevas.
Buffalo finished its first season with Mike Ruechel as head coach with a record of 10-32-1 overall and 6-10-1 in Mid-American Conference play. The Bulls saw a regression in wins from last season as they continued to try and make the MAC Tournament for the first time since 2014.
“These ladies showed a lot of fight this entire season,” Ruechel said. “They could have easily thrown in the towel a while ago when things got rough but they didn't. They competed all season long and I am very proud of them. Unfortunately, the journey has to end at some point and for us it was sooner than we wanted. Thank you very much to our senior class for leading the way this year. The future is bright and next year will be a lot of fun.”
Up until this past weekend, Ruechel spent the season with an interim tag next to his name. Athletic Director Mark Alnutt announced on Thursday that Ruechel and assistant coaches Jody Hennigar and Cortney Radke will stay on as well.
Under Ruechel, the Bulls have increased their totals in home runs, doubles, walks and slugging percentage in the two seasons he has been here.
But UB lost its final three games of the season to Ohio this past weekend. The Bulls finished with the ninth-best record in the MAC and three games back of the final playoff position.
Power started in games one and three of the series. She pitched two complete games, allowing just four earned runs and striking out seven to cap off her stellar career at Buffalo.
Power finishes top-five in games pitched, wins, complete games, innings pitched, strikeouts and earned-run average from the circle.
Smith pitched in game two and finished her last start with a complete game, giving up just three runs on four hits. It was her career-high sixth complete game this season.
Three more Bulls ended their careers in the field.
Karjel has been at UB for the past two seasons and played in 89 games at shortstop. She produced 42 hits, five home runs and 24 runs batted in.
Cuevas appeared in 92 games for UB and finishes with one of the best gloves at first base. She had a .968 fielding percentage committing just 11 errors in 349 total chances.
Robertson played in 168 games over her four years, alternating at catcher and first base. In 419 at bats, she has 16 home runs, which is tied for third all-time, 71 RBI and a .243 batting average.
Nathaniel Mendelson is the senior sports editor and can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @NateMendelson