Whichever tack you want to take on UB Softball's first five games of the season, I can assure you the sample size is too small to draw anything meaningful.
That said, today's 6-1 victory over Florida A&M, the Bulls' strongest game of the Chick-Fil-A Invitational, was a great way to close out the weekend. UB will head into their next weekend in Arlington, TX with a 2-3 record thanks to the win.
Florida A&M was 0-4 in the tournament but had manged to score six on the same Troy team that beat Buffalo 11-0 yesterday, so take from that what you will. From our perspective, the difference between this game and UB's first four was simple and clear: The Bulls did not commit any errors and allowed only one runner (of 11) to score with two outs.
Hayley Barrow got the start and went the distance from the circle, racking up 10 strikeouts while allowing only four hits, but also walked seven in the game. The strikeouts are encouraging, but only in the first inning did Florida A&M go without a baserunner.
All six Buffalo runs went unanswered after the Rattlers took an early lead, limited to a single run thanks to a bases-loaded strikeout from Barrow. Buffalo would take the lead at their next opportunity thanks to two quick runners. Coach Peel sacrificed an out to move Savanna Norcio and Barrow over and two batters later send freshman Nicolette Jacobs in to pinch hit with the bases loaded.
In her first collegiate at bat or appearance of any sort on the diamond, the former Niagara Wheatfield Falcon put the second pitch she saw over the fence for a two-out pinch-hit grand slam to give UB the lead. That's pretty swell.
Florida A&M would earn and fail to drive in six baserunners through the sixth inning, when UB put two more across on an Alexiss Curtiss single. UB left the bases loaded and had a runner thrown out at home in that inning, so perhaps it should have been more productive, but the five-run lead was more than enough to hold off Florida A&M in the top of hte seventh.
UB, now 2-3 to start the year, plays five more games next weekend at the Maverick Invitational in Arlington, TX. The Bulls will see Sam Houston State twice and also face off against Texas-Arlington, Incarnate Word, and Ohio State.