With a chance to play some midweek games during spring break, UB Softball is rapidly reaching the end of their yearly season-opening road stretch, and unfortunately is still looking to put all the pieces of a winning strategy together.
In four games over the last two days, the Bulls for the most part got better results than over the weekend, but failed to pull out a win against either the College of Charleston or South Carolina.
Yesterday, the Bulls lost 3-2 in ten innings and 5-1 in a more appropriately-lengthed game. It was sadly a turn of fortunes from UB's last two extra-innings matchups in the first, and again, as in the nine-inning win against Princeton, the Bulls got a stellar pitching performance from freshman Brieanna Baker, who allowed 17 baserunners - three on errors - but got out of jam after jam to keep UB in it.
Unfortunately, Buffalo's offense couldn't take advantage of 16 baserunners themselves, stranding two in the second, fifth, and seventh. Katie Weimer, named MAC East Player of the Week mid-game, continued to rake, going 2-4 with a double and a run in the win.
Errors were again the name of the game in the nightcap against Charleston, as five Buffalo miscues piled on top of 10 hits really made things difficult for Ally Power in the circle, who finished with only one earned run but left the game in the fourth inning trailing 5-1. Taylor Light came in and finished the game without more damage, but UB got no more offense than a single run in the first inning when Catrell Robertson drove in Savannah Norcio.
Two games Wednesday against SEC program South Carolina saw more of the same: a stronger opening salvo before a difficult night cap. In the opener, UB carried a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth before - stop me if you've heard this one before - giving up a big two-out rally that included a grand slam and ultimately turned into six runs.
Charlotte Miller pitched the bulk of the game, and well until that final Gamecock at-bat, allowing only seven baserunners in five innings prior to the sixth. The top of the order was particularly productive, scoring all four Buffalo runs, including the opening two on a Danielle Lallos single in the third inning.
The final game against South Carolina again saw the Bulls take an early lead, but again fail to score the rest of the way, and ended after five with UB down 10-2. Nothing really went right for Buffalo in this one but for a quick first-inning rally in which two-out hits from Lallos and Leandra Jew brought home a pair of runs.
On the week, Lallos was a quiet producer, with five hits and four RBI, while Savannah Norcio continued to get on base - eight times - from the leadoff spot, scoring in three of the four contests.
Buffalo will stay in the south this weekend for a pair of games Friday at Savannah State.