Bengals use spring trip to Florida to prepare for upcoming season
Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 21:03
Buffalo State’s softball team took a trip to Clermont, Fla., over spring break to open their 2012
The Bengals, who split the week, winning five of the 10 games played over the trip, felt that
they could have had better results than what they ended up with.
“So far, it’s been a case of us having one area of our team perform well in games, but the other
area doesn’t,” senior infielder Kyrstin Lekki said. “Sometimes it’s our hitting, other times it’s our
pitching. We need all of those areas to come together and play well at the same time for us to
Junior catcher Lindsay Goff agreed, saying that the team will fix their ailments with more time
“There are areas on our team that do need improvement,” Goff said. “We do have our work cut
out for us, but I think we’ll be able to work out those problems in practice. The more time we
have to work on our game, the better we’ll be.”
The Bengals opened the season on March 18, scoring a combined 20 runs to defeat Trinity
(Conn.), 9-5, and Concordia (Wis.), 11-6. Sophomore pitcher Aleesha Williams allowed seven
hits and had two strikeouts against Trinity, while freshman infielder Marcella Ossa had two hits
with two doubles and an RBI.
Against Concordia, freshman pitcher Maddie Coneys allowed only five hits and two runs to pick
up her first collegiate win, while Goff had three hits and two RBIs.
“We were a little nervous coming into our first couple of games (of the trip) because they were
our first games of the year,” Goff said, “but we were also excited because we had never faced
these teams before. All of the teams we played gave us some good competition; there weren’t
any soft teams at all.”
The next day, the Bengals lost to the 15th-ranked team in the nation, Wisconsin-Eau Claire, by a
score of 3-1. Tied 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Eau Claire took advantage of two hits
and two errors to score the last two runs of the game.
The Bengals were able to bounce back later in the day with an 8-6 win over Fontbonne (Mo.).
Down by six runs entering the fourth inning, the Bengals rallied to score seven unanswered runs
to take the lead. Coneys won her second game of the year, while sophomore infielder Shelly
Maggard went 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs.
Last Wednesday, the Bengals lost back-to-back games. In falling to the University of Chicago
(Ill.), 16-6, the Bengals blew a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the third inning when the Maroons
scored nine runs. The team later gave up five more scores in the bottom of the fourth to pull
out the win.
Buffalo State later came up short against the No. 3 team in Division III, Eastern Connecticut,
losing by a score of 7-1. The Bengals’ offense struggled against the powerhouse, scoring only
one run on six hits.
Friday, the Bengals rebounded by defeating Colby (Maine), 6-2, after scoring all of their runs in
the third, fourth and fifth innings. Lekki led the Bengals offensively with two hits, a double, a
home run and two RBIs, while Williams earned the win on the mound.
The team didn’t manage to sweep its opponents, though, as Buffalo State lost to Tufts (Mass.),
11-8, in the day’s second game. The Bengals had an 8-6 lead going into the fourth inning, but
the Jumbos scored runs in the fourth and fifth innings to win the game.
Buffalo State finished its road trip on Friday by splitting another pair of games, this time by
defeating Plymouth State (N.H.), 9-0, and losing to Williams (Mass.), 11-5, in the nightcap. In
the win, Coneys threw a two-hit shutout and junior outfielder Breanna Fenski went 3-for-3 with
and RBI and a run scored.
The Bengals never had the lead against Williams, however, as an early 8-0 deficit became the
team’s undoing. Buffalo State nearly made a comeback by scoring five runs, but allowed three
runs in the seventh, which sealed the loss.
Lekki believed the trip could serve as a learning tool for the rest of the team.
“Having blown leads and nearly made a few comebacks, I think our team has to learn how to
get momentum back when we don’t have leads,” Lekki said. “We have to learn how to come
back from deficits to win more games.”
Lekki’s sister, Kaylee, a pitcher, saw her position as a liability that needed to be addressed.
“Our pitching staff as a whole needs to step up and play better,” Kaylee said. “We need to get
our confidence going again so we can be ready for the rest of the year.”
The team will open the home portion of its season as they take on Plattsburgh Friday and
Potsdam on Saturday.
“Plattsburgh’s got a good team,” Goff said. “We lost to them twice last year and then we beat
them twice in the SUNYAC playoffs, so we’ve got a good rivalry going with them. Potsdam’s
always put up good numbers, too, so we’re excited to finally start playing some games at
Tony Fiorello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.