BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — For the first time since the 2009 season, the Canisius softball team will play in the NCAA Softball Tournament. The Griffs open up play on Friday in Gainesville against the no. 14 Florida Gators, hoping to make some noise and well-represent Western New York.
"The greatest thing for me is they're getting to experience this," coach Kim Griffin told 7 Sports.
"I would watch the Regionals, Super Regionals, World Series on TV since I was little," said sophomore Destiny Falquez. "To not be able to watch it and play in it is crazy."
The Griffs are coming off a very successful season in which they went 33-12 following a 4-0 win over Siena in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Associations's conference tournament. They enter Friday's game riding a 12-game win streak, the program's longest unbeaten streak in more than 20 seasons, according to the team.
"We have a little bit of an underdog mentality. But at the same time, we know we can compete with these teams," Griffin said. "I think we're feeling confident. We're feeling we can go in and show them what we're capable of."
"It's exciting because these are players you look up to a little bit because of the level they're playing at," grad student Lindsi Dennis said. "It's fun to be a part of it now."
While the Griffs will be playing for each other, they're also playing for the city of Buffalo. The team will be wearing "Buffalo Strong" stickers on their helmets. Friday's game is set to begin at 4:30 p.m.