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SEASON PREVIEW: Buffalo State looks to climb back to the top of the SUNYAC

Buffalo+State+Softball+will+begin+its+regular+season+games+this+Saturday%2C+March+1.
Buffalo State Softball will begin its regular season games this Saturday, March 1.

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

Dave DeLuca/ The Record

Dave DeLuca/ The Record

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

Zachary Memmott, Reporter

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To be the best you have to beat the best.

“We have an extremely difficult schedule the first 16 games of the season before conference, it’ll be a good gut check for our team. But it’ll be good knowing when we go to conference, we have played better than our conference. It’ll be good for the team,” Buffalo State head coach Marie Curran-Headley said.

The Bengals get underway on Friday in Virginia Beach with a game against Rowan. The team is coming off a 2016 season in which they made it to the SUNYAC championship.

Curran-Headley said she can’t really tell the overall feeling of the team this year, but adds that’s a good thing.

“It’s funny you can’t really tell, which is a good thing,” she said. “They just want to play, they just want to play someone in a different uniform.”

The Bengals were ranked second in the SUNYAC preseason poll this year, only behind Cortland. Curran-Headley agrees that there is pressure with the high ranking, however, this doesn’t supplement the need to be a top placed team.

“Absolutely, but it depends on how you look at it,” she explained. “It could make you mad because you weren’t picked to finish first.”

One of the biggest storylines for this team is losing pitcher Lexi Haley, who had 17 wins last season. The win total is good for third all-time for single season wins in Buffalo State history.

Although when asked about the pitching rotation, Curran-Headley sounded confident without Haley.

“Adding two new pitchers is really good,” the coach said. “We added Allie Block and Scarlett Whitman. Allie is nice, because of losing Lexi as a hard throwing pitcher, we get that hard throwing pitcher back with Allie. Nicole Adams is a year better, a year mentally tougher, and really embracing the position this year.”

Replacing a star pitcher on the mound could be pivotal the success of the team. Albeit, Curran-Headley seemed prepared for the closely approaching start to the season.

“Allie, she is a sophomore, transfer, does really well on the mound. She’s got great game personality so very much going to be like Lexi.”

So with all these storylines, what are the expectations?

“To win the whole thing, that’s it for the team, they have been there now. They didn’t like losing there, so that’s been driving them,” Curran proclaimed.

Cortland softball has been a staple for years now, winning the championship five times since 2010, including last year.

Buffalo State does not play a home game until April 7 when the Bengals play New Paltz.

email: memmott.record@outlook.com

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SEASON PREVIEW: Buffalo State looks to climb back to the top of the SUNYAC