Another weekend, another substandard slate of Olympic sports coverage and me lumping everything in to a single post. Unfortunately, I have very little good news, as all the team sports lost their weekends. Track and Field had one heck of a showing across three different meets, though.
Softball: Lost "@" Ball State 7-6 (9 inn), Lost "@" Ball State 12-4
Friday, the Bulls went to Miami and lost a doubleheader with one game where the offense showed up but pitching and defense let them down, and another in which the offense didn't show up. Saturday UB remained in Oxford to take on Ball State and followed nearly the same script.
Through six innings of the first game, UB was cruising, holding a 4-2 lead behind strong pitching from Charlotte Miller. Lauren Gambone hit a home run in the top of the seventh to extend the lead and every spot in the Bulls order had a hit, a run, or both. It was to this point the team's most complete game of the season.
Miller quickly ran out of gas, however, surrendering a walk, a double, a home run, and the lead. In extras, UB was unable to score in the ninth and dropped the game 7-6.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Got pulled away for dinner and <a href="https://twitter.com/UBBullssoftball">@UBBullssoftball</a> ended up losing 7-6 in 9. Lesson is never eat dinner while the Bulls are playing.</p>— Bull Run (@UBBullRun) <a href="https://twitter.com/UBBullRun/status/584508801790976000">April 5, 2015</a></blockquote>
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The second game was less in doubt after Ball State scored four times in the first two innings. UB fought back to trail 6-4 after five but surrendered a half-dozen in the bottom of the sixth, which ended the game.
At this point in the season, we're still seeing a young and inconsistent team. It sure seems like Charlotte Miller is improving in the circle, though Hayley Barrow and Bobbi Langlois are still hit or miss. UB's best pitcher may be Lace Smith, still playing high school ball in Florida. Maybe I'll do a post on the recruits soon.
Baseball: Lost 6-1, 5-3, 5-3 "@" Ohio
Baseball was allowed to travel to Ohio, they just didn't and went north of Pittsburgh instead. Butler's not the most interesting place in the world, but good for the guys to stay out of Ohio if they get the chance. Plus it's a much shorter road trip.
In the games themselves, not much went right for the Bulls, who squandered strong performances from starters Brent Cleland, Anthony Magovney, and Mike McGee with either errors (three in game one) or ineffective relief pitching (five runs allowed in games two and three). Curiously, the three errors in the first game came alongside a pair of double plays.
Offensively, the final game of the series was the strongest for UB, but ten hits only gave the visitors opportunity to leave 13 runners on base. Across three games 31 Buffalo baserunners went stranded. Even a small improvement there could have swung the entire series in UB's favor.
Men's Tennis: Lost 5-2 @ Western Michigan
Now we've got a bit of a problem, as UB falls to 0-2 in the MAC. The Bulls are certainly talented enough to win the conference tournament from any seed -- last year they advanced to within one set from the #4 entry -- but they've got to make it in. With just three regular-season matches remaining, Buffalo backs are against the wall.
That said, this loss is more troubling because it comes on the heels of a defeat in Binghamton than it would be in a vacuum. Western Michigan is 14-0 at home this season and is traditionally extremely strong within the MAC.
UB actually won the doubles point in this one before claiming just one of the six singles matches. It wasn't even particularly close, as Western Michigan won five first sets in the six matches.
I might write a Men's Tennis-specific piece sometime this week when I can spend more time talking about them.
Women's Tennis: Lost 5-2 @ Western Michigan
Everywhere you look, a rough weekend for UB. Women's Tennis had a match cancelled due to issues outside their control and then lost 5-2 to the Broncos themselves. Like the men, this one wasn't really in doubt either. WMU easily took the doubles point before winning four of the six singles matches.
Only #1 Tanja Stojanovska and #5 Laura Holterbosch claimed points for the Bulls, and only #6 singles went three sets.
Rowing: Nordic Nine (Ithaca, NY)
UB traveled to Ithaca for competition against Boston University and Rhode Island this weekend, and managed to get a few races in despite rough weather all weekend. Unfortunately, against the Terriers and the Rams, UB finished last in all their races. I don't know enough about rowing to do anything but say how things went, but there are still a handful of competitions before the CAA Championships at the end of the season.
Track and Field: Rochester Alumni Invitational, Princeton Sam Howell Invitational, Florida Relays
There was so much good this weekend from Track and Field that I saved it for last, and that I think I have to resort to my swimming strategy, where I only highlight the especial highlights.
In Rochester, UB finished first (women) and second (men) against a comparatively light field. MAC Qualifiers included Miranda Daucher (discus) and Regine Lazard (400m hurdles), who both set track records, while UB student-athletes riddled the top-five of most events. In particular, I was glad to see Josh Gali win the 100m sprint; as I had thought he was exclusively a 400 guy.
In New Jersey, Corinne Birchard finished second and Melinda Wheeler fifth in the 800 and 1500, respectively. Wheeler's run was a MAC Qualifier
But the highlights came at the Florida Relays from, frankly, all the names you'd expect. Tyler Scheving lowered his own school record in the 800 only for Brian Crimmins to lower it once again. Scheving and Crimmins joined Meghan Manley as MAC qualifiers in their respective 800s. Ryan Billian (110 hurdles) and Emma Siuciak (pole vault) also hit their respective conference marks.
A handful of Bulls also hit qualifiers on Saturday led by the shot putters. Jon Jones did his thing in a big way, narrowly missing out on his outdoor school, but did rewrite the Florida Relays record books in victory. Freshman Devon Patterson also qualified for the MAC Championships with his throw.
Austin Price in the triple jump also topped a MAC Qualifier, while the women's 4x200m relay of Malayah White, Tyra Forbes, Camaria Long, and Kailyn Arcury broke a 12-year old school record, finishing in 1:38.34. Long to Arcury to close out relays this season is going to finish a ton of races strong.
I'll have more on all these teams over the coming week. Go Bulls