ATHENS, GA – The University at Buffalo softball team picked up its first win of the season and hung tight with second-ranked Georgia on Friday, splitting its two games in the opening day of the Georgia Softball Classic. The Bulls used an extra inning victory to start the day as they move their record to 1-6.
The Bulls picked up their first win of the season in the opener as UB defeated Marshall, 5-4 in eight innings. The Bulls used their speed on the base paths throughout the game, scoring the winning run due to their aggressive nature. Heading into extra innings, freshman Tori Speckman mowed down the Marshall lineup in order, giving the Bulls the opportunity to win it in the bottom half of the inning. Sophomore Ashley Bertot was placed on second to start the inning and after one out, she took off trying to steal third. The throw from the catcher went over the third baseman's head, scoring Bertot with the winning run.
The Bulls had staked out to a 4-0 lead through three innings before Marshall scored a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. The Bulls struck in the bottom of the first as freshman Holly Luciano led off with a single through the right side. She moved to second on a bunt from Bertot and was then joined on the bases by Kristin Waldron, who walked. Luciano and Waldron then pulled off a double steal, both ultimately scoring on a single to center field from sophomore Jessica Griffin.
UB picked up another two runs in the bottom of the third inning, all coming with two outs. Griffin reached base on an error by the second baseman, keeping the inning alive for Buffalo. Freshman Sammi Gallardo then advanced Grffin with a bunt single, with them both advancing a base on the throw. With Griffin and Gallardo both in scoring position, freshman Tori Pettine delivered a single into center field, scoring both.
Speckman picked up her first collegiate win as she pitched four innings of one-hit ball, striking out four batters. Junior Haylee Land started the contest, striking out two in four innings of work.
The second game saw the Bulls matched up with the hosts Georgia, who were ranked second in the national polls. The Bulls held the Bulldogs scoreless through the first inning before Georiga picked up three in the second, one in the third and two in each the fourth and fifth inning. The Bulls recorded four hits in the game, two from both Bertot and Pettine.
Coming off her victory in the opener, Speckman got the starting the second game, pitching 3.0 innings and picking up the loss. Junior Holly Johnson came in for the final 1.2 innings of work, striking out two.
The Bulls are back in action with another two games tomorrow. UB faces NC State at 3:00 pm and Winthrop at 5:00 pm.