BUFFALO, NY – Head coach Trena Peel begins her fourth season at the helm of the Buffalo softball program this weekend as the Bulls will open the 2017 season at the Lion Classic II hosted by Southeastern Louisiana.
The Bulls are coming off a 17-37 campaign last year, including a 9-14 mark in MAC play. Buffalo returns 14 players from last season led by first-team All-MAC and NFCA All-Region selection Savanna Norcio, who hit .382 with 17 doubles. She is one of four seniors on the team, joined by Ashton Earnhardt, Bobbi Langlois and Essence Savinon.
UB returns five of its top seven hitters from a year ago as Earnhardt batted .295 on the year, while junior Leandra Jew hit .272. Fellow junior Danielle Lallos played in all 54 games last year and led the team with 11 stolen bases. The Bulls return their entire pitching staff as well.
In addition, the Bulls welcome six newcomers with five freshmen and Alyssa Cuevas a sophomore transfer from St. Peter's. Cuevas is joined by fellow Californian newcomers Karlie Fernandez and Jenelle Martinez. Playing their first collegiate weekend will also be Jessica Goldyn, Gabby Keller, and Ufuoma Ogagan.
The Bulls will begin the season at 1:00 pm on Friday against Southeastern Louisiana, who went 3-1 during the first weekend of play with wins over Army, Mississippi Valley State, and Coppin State.
UB will then face Morehead State at 3:00 pm on Friday. The Eagles went 2-2 in their opening weekend with wins over South Carolina State and Kennesaw State.
On Saturday, Buffalo will play two more games, facing Texas-Arlington at 11:00 am and Alcorn State at 3:00 pm. The matchup with Texas-Arlington will reunite the Bulls with one of their best players in school history, as Alexis Curtiss is currently a graduate assistant for the program. The Mavericks went 1-3 in the opening weekend with a win over New Mexico. Alcorn State is beginning the season Thursday afternoon with a doubleheader before heading to Hammond, LA.
Buffalo will round out their opening weekend on Sunday at 9:00 am against Southeast Missouri State. The Redhawks won their season-opening tournament at Jackson State going a perfect 4-0 against Tennessee State, Jarvis Christian College and Jackson State.
There will be live stats and subscription-based live video for certain games during the weekend. Links will be available at UBBulls.com. You can also follow @UBBullssoftball for all the latest information.