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Bengals reverse poor fortune

By Tony Fiorello
On April 21, 2012

 

Buffalo State bounced back from its recent five-game losing streak by winning four in a row against
SUNYAC rivals New Paltz and Oneonta last week.
 
The Bengals were in dire need of victories - not only because of their .500 record, but to lift the team's
spirits after the death of longtime head coach Sandra Hollander two weeks ago.
 
"We needed to get our heads screwed on straight," senior shortstop Kyrstin Lekki said. "Winning four
straight has definitely helped us do that."
 
Sophomore pitcher Aleesha Williams agreed.
 
"We really had to work hard the past couple weeks with everything that we were going through,"
Williams said. "We needed to pull together, and by doing that we were able to pick up a few wins."
 
The Bengals (15-11, 8-4 SUNYAC) started their turnaround Friday, defeating New Paltz by scores of 10-
4 and 9-1. In the first game, the team took advantage of six errors by New Paltz and scored all 10 of its
runs over a three-inning stretch.
 
Six Bengals - Lekki, juniors Breanna Fenski, Brieanna Brink, Sam Strapason and Lindsay Goff, and
freshman Taylor Swiatek - recorded two hits in the contest. Williams allowed just six hits, earning the
win in the circle.
 
In the second game, RBIs by Fenski and freshmen Marcella Ossa and Kara Stein gave the Bengals a 5-1
lead through five innings. Lekki hit a grand slam in the sixth inning to push the lead to eight.
 
The four-run hit was Lekki's eighth home run of the season, giving her 31 for her career - one shy of
Deanna Hunt's all-time record. Freshman pitcher Maddie Coneys earned the win, allowing only four hits.
 
On Saturday, the Bengals prevailed over Oneonta by scores of 4-3 and 8-7. In the first contest, the
team was trailing 3-0 entering the seventh inning, but the Bengals scored four runs - three when they
were down to their final out - to emerge victorious. The four runs were batted in by Goff, Fenski and
Williams.
 
The second match saw the Bengals score eight runs in the first five innings to seal the win. Lekki went 3-
for-4 at the plate with three doubles and Fenski finished the game with two hits and three RBIs. Coneys
struck out five batters in a complete game for the win.
 
"New Paltz had been winning a lot of games lately, but I don't think they had an opportunity to face
some of the best teams yet," interim coach Marie Curran said. "Oneonta's real scrappy too and they
were good competition for us. Coming back with a winning record after these games is real nice."
 
One noticeable trait that the Bengals have shown this season is the ability to score runs in bunches. This
was especially evident in the team's first games against New Paltz and Oneonta.
 
"It does seem like a lot of our runs tend to come in bunches," assistant coach Greg Willats said. "Usually
you try to get one or two runs an inning, but you also need to get some timely hits to score them and we
certainly got them over the last two days."
 
The Bengals will host Penn State-Behrend Wednesday and Fredonia Saturday before they travel to
Ithaca for contests against the Bombers on Sunday.
 
"We're excited to play against Penn State Behrend and Ithaca because you get to work on certain things
against non-conference opponents, so that's good for us," Lekki said. "But we know that Fredonia is
almost guaranteed to have a spot in the SUNYAC playoffs, so we're going to have to work real hard in
order to beat them."
 
Tony Fiorello can be reached at fiorello.record@live.com.

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