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Gallaudet starts season at Beach Blast, Kolcun picks up first win

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The 2011 season got underway for the Gallaudet University softball team over the weekend on the road in Virginia Beach, Va., as the Bison participated in the Beach Blast tournament hosted by Virginia Wesleyan University. Gallaudet went 1-3 during the two-day tournament as the Bison began a new chapter to their history as Head Coach Joseph Kolcun made his debut in his new position with the softball program.

GU split its two games on Friday as the Bison lost 15-2 to University of Pittsburg at Greensburg but bounced back with a sound 12-3 victory over York (N.Y.) in the nightcap. On Saturday, the Bison dropped both games as John Jay won a shootout 18-14 and Division II foe Virginia Union University won 7-5 to close-out the weekend for the Bison.

The Bison only trailed 3-2 against Greensburg as the teams headed into the sixth inning. The Bobcats added a run in the sixth but it was the seventh that got out of hand and put the game away for Greensburg. The Bobcats plated 11 runs in the top of the seventh as errors and wild pitches extended the inning for Greensburg.

GU regrouped and took down York (N.Y.) in the second game as the Bison scored six runs in the third, two in the fourth and four in the sixth. York pushed across a run in the second and two in the fifth as Kolcun celebrated his first win as a head coach.

On Saturday, Gallaudet led 7-1 going into the bottom of the fifth inning but came out of tied at seven as John Jay plated six runs. GU responded with six runs in the top of the sixth inning and added an insurance run in the seventh to lead 14-7 going into the bottom half of the inning. The Bison only needed three outs to end the game. GU got the first batter to ground out but after that quick out 12 batters came to the plate and scored 11 runs which included a walk-off grand slam to end the game and give John Jay the thrilling 18-14 win.

It was tough for the Bison to recover from the John Jay loss but fought hard against Virginia Union. GU fell behind 3-0 and then 6-3 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning. Gallaudet scored two runs in the fourth to pull within one of Virginia Union, that was as close as the Buff and Blue got in the game. Virginia Union added an insurance run in the seventh to put the game away.

The Bison will make their home debut on Wednesday, March 9, against cross-town foe Washington Adventist University in a non-conference doubleheader that will begin at 2 p.m.