Softball shuts out New Paltz to salvage split


Dave DeLuca/ The Record

Buffalo State Softball will begin its regular season games this Saturday, March 1.

Jahvon Graham, Reporter

After a 16-day layoff due to inclement weather, the Buffalo State softball team finally got back in action on Wednesday, April 3.

Sitting at 8-8 without having played any conference games, the Bengals looked to get on the right track. Due to the postponement of games, SUNYAC teams were forced to play a big docket of games in short timespans.

The Bengals started their series of SUNYAC double headers at home against Cortland. The Dragons got the best of them, taking game one 6-3 then game two 3-1. The 7th inning spelled doom as 7 of 9 Cortland runs came in that inning alone.

Buffalo State struggled getting their bats going in game two as senior third baseman Jean Stahl and sophomore utility player Melissa Woods were the only two to record hits. The Bengals saw their record dip under .500 to 8-10 (0-2 SUNYAC).

“Knowing we had to play eight games in four days really did set us back,” Stahl said. “It’s not an excuse, but I really do think the rescheduling of games and the long weeks we had in between Florida and conference games really played a part in our slow start.”

Buffalo State hosted Oswego on a double header the following day and looked to put the two losses behind them. Oswego won game one 5-4 and pushed the Bengals losing streak to four straight. Junior outfielder Laura Crooks went 3 for 4 with an RBI while Woods went 2 for 2. Senior pitcher Lexi Haley had a rough day on the mound, allowing 12 hits and five walks while striking out five.

The Bengals ended their four-game losing streak with a 4-2 win in game two. They scored early and never allowed Oswego to pull back, putting up all four runs in the opening inning.

Sporting a 9-11 record (1-3 SUNYAC), the Bengals took a trip to Oneonta the following day looking to build on their win over Oswego. They dropped both games 9-7 then 3-2 and saw their record fall to 9-13 (1-5 SUNYAC).

The Bengals outhit Oneonta in game one 11-7, but Oneonta scored all nine runs in only two innings. After the Bengals scored three runs in the first inning, Oneonta wasted no time, putting up four runs themselves. In the sixth inning, Buffalo State scored one. Oneonta answered with five of their own. Game two had less offense as one run in each the 3rd, 4th and 5th inning was enough for Oneonta to capture the win.

Next on the schedule was New Paltz. The Bengals saw their losing streak pushed to three after a 3-2 loss. Senior infielder Stephanie Novo and Crooks each went 3 for 4 and combined for six of the team’s seven hits. The Bengals were able to split the double header by blanking New Paltz 6-0 in game two. Stahl went 4 for 4 with two doubles while Haley went the distance on the mound, striking out six and giving up just four hits.

The 6-0 blanking of New Paltz left the players feeling good about the weekend’s results.

“I think there were a lot of positive things we can take out of that win that will help start to build our confidence back up to where it was in Florida,” said Novo. “Tuesday we play non-conference games that I think will be nice for us to continue to build off yesterday’s win and get us in the right place for the weekend we have ahead.”

The Bengals record now sits at 10-14 (2-6 SUNYAC) after a costly week of losses.

“I think it affected all of our hitting. We got into a groove in Florida and started to get really hot,” said Novo. “We were ready to keep going once we got back to Buffalo but unfortunately the weather hurt us and I think we just fell out of that groove with the time off.”

The Bengals will look to build off their last win and continue the uphill climb.

“I think it all comes back to focus. When all of us are focused and ready we play better than any team in the conference,” said Stahl. “Sometimes, playing teams like Oneonta and Cortland who are usually at the top, the pressure gets in our heads and makes us make little mistakes that end up costing us the game.”

The Bengals next game will be Tuesday April 19th at home in a non-conference double header against Nazareth. After that, they stay at home to face Fredonia, Potsdam and Plattsburgh April 23-25.

“I expect we still have some tough battles to face, but I really do think we will come out on top,” said Stahl.

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