As is often the case early in the season, weather was the news this week for the UR women’s softball team.

The Yellowjackets, who were scheduled to play their first two home games Tuesday and Wednesday at the Graudate Living Center softball field, had both games postponed due to inclement weather.

Tuesday’s game against SUNY Brockport was rescheduled to April 11 and Wednesday’s game against St. John Fisher College will be played April 17.

The team played for the first time in New York last Saturday at SUNY Geneseo, dropping both games of a double-header, 5-0 and 5-1.

In the first game, Geneseo’s catcher Tracy Koch smashed a pair of solo home runs and pitcher Sarah Taub shut down UR’s offense, allowing just two hits and striking out 10 Yellowjackets to earn her fourth win of the season.

“Taub is very, very good,” head coach Kris Shanley said. “When you have 10 strikeouts it is going to be difficult to score any runs. Our bats stalled in the first game and it kind of carried over to the second one.”

In the second game of the double header, Geneseo continued to stifle the Yellowjackets’ offense, giving up a lone run in the sixth inning.

There were highlights for the young Yellow-jacket team though. The defense shined in the loss and the team improved over its results against Geneseo last year.

“Defensively we did a super job,” Shanley said.

“The highlight was really our team defense,” co-captain and senior third baseman Nellie Coats said. “We just need to get our bats going and we’ll be fine.”

Last year, UR lost both games to Geneseo 8-0.

The Yellowjackets, who are 2-8 after a 2-6 trip to Florida, are stronger than that record indicates. Most of the teams they have played so far are higher-ranked squads with more experience.

Geneseo, Brockport and St. John Fisher are all ranked among the top 10 squads in New York state.

However, Shanley concedes that the team “still isn’t at the level [they] want to play at.” But she expects the young team to play better with more experience.

“Especially with a young team is their ability to be better offensive threats as they get a little more experience with college pitching and college competition,” she said.

The problem with upstate New York in March and April is the weather is unpredictable at best. The only benefit is that everyone is affected.

“If we’re not playing, nobody else is either,” Shanley said.

Coats feels the poor weather only motivates the team more because they get tired of not being able to practice outdoors or play any games.

“It really makes us want to get out there more,” Coats said.

The main difficulty for the coaching staff is keeping indoor practices interesting and to keep improving in all areas of the team’s game.

The poor weather also levels the playing field because every team is limited in its ability to practice and get outside.

“It makes better teams more average and worse teams better,” Shanley said.

The Yellowjackets will keep an eye on the sky as they head down to Elmira this weekend to participate in the Elmira Tournament against Lehman College, Elmira College and Keuka College.

“I think we’ll go in strong this weekend,” Coats said.

Shanley agreed.

“We really have a legitimate shot in the tournament,” she said. “All of the teams have similar records and there won’t be a dominating team there. Whoever brings the best game this weekend should walk away with the tournament.”

That is assuming they play ? the latest weather report for Elmira this weekend calls for temperatures in the mid-30s with the possibility of snow flurries.


The softball team is not the only team that has had a tough time getting around the bad weather.

The baseball team was supposed play at Brockport on Tuesday, a makeup of a game originally scheduled for March 26, but rain postponed the game to April 30.

The Yellowjackets will try to get their season underway today at 3 p.m. when they travel to SUNY Oswego. If the weather holds up, UR will play three more games this weekend.

The Yellowjackets have a double header scheduled against Cazenovia College at Towers Field at noon on Sunday. UR is then supposed to travel to Ithaca College for a game at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday.

UR’s UCAA schedule gets underway the following weekend at St. Lawrence University.

Hildebrandt can be reached at

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