Bulls Fall Short In Marathon Doubleheader
LEWISTON, NY – The University at Buffalo softball team dropped a pair of games to Northern Illinois on Friday afternoon, including 13-inning affair in the opener. The Huskies took that contest 10-9 and then won the second game, 7-0. Both contests took place at Niagara Field on the campus of Niagara University.
The opener saw the Bulls overcome three separate multi-run deficits as UB pounded out 20 hits, just one shy of the Division I school record for hits in a game. It is also just the second time since joining Division I that UB has recorded 20 hits in a game.
The Huskies got out to an early 5-0 lead in the first game and continued to lead by five into the fourth inning when the Bulls finally got a run across as freshman Tori Pettine singled through the left side to score Alyssa Ward from third. The Bulls struck for another run in the bottom of the fifth as sophomore Andi Saucier hit an infield single, scoring Ward from second. The Bulls continued to claw back in the bottom of the sixth as Alexandra Bejarano singled to center field to score Holly Luciano. With two outs, the Bulls finally tied the game up on a double to right center by Jessica Griffin, tying things up a 5-5.
The Huskies immediately responded in the top of the seventh with a two-run home run to retake a 7-5 lead into the bottom of the inning. That is when the Bulls used a two out rally to send things into extra innings. The Bulls had just a runner on first and two outs when Kelli Gleiser reached on an infield single. With two runners on, junior Kristin Waldron doubled to left field, scoring both runs.
Neither team was able to score in the eighth or ninth, sending the game into the 10th. The Huskies used a long double in the top of the 10th to plate two runs and take a 9-7 lead into the bottom half of the inning, but again the Bulls came back. With runners on first and third and one out, Griffin hit a shot back to the pitcher which she threw away going to first. That error scored both runs for the Bulls.
Both teams again were scoreless in the 11th and 12th, sending the game into the 13th inning. NIU used a two-out single to drive in a run and take a 10-9 lead. That would go on to be the final score as the Bulls were unable to do anything in the bottom half of the inning.
Holly Johnson picked up the loss despite pitching 11.0 innings in relief, striking out seven batters. Luciano, Waldron, Bejarano and Pettine all set school records for at bats in a game with seven as Waldron tied the school record for hits in a game with four. Pettine and Ward each had three-hit games, while four players finished with two hits.
UB had a harder time offensively in the second game as it recorded seven hits in the shutout. The Huskies scored one run in the top of the first on a home run to left field, but that would be the only run scored by either team over the first four innings. The Huskies struck for two more in the sixth and then broke the game open with four runs in the seventh.
Freshman Tori Speckman picked up the loss in the second game as she went 5.2 innings allowing seven hits and three earned runs. Waldron and Griffin both had multi-hit games in the second game as Waldron went 2-for-4 to cap off a day where she went 6-for-11 overall.
The Bulls will host Western Michigan tomorrow in a doubleheader beginning at 2:00 pm at Nan Harvey Field.