Freshmen Show Power In Losses To Penn State
STATE COLLEGE, PA – The University at Buffalo softball team hit three home runs in its doubleheader loss to Penn State on Thursday, all three coming from UB freshmen. The Bulls led in both contests, but lost the opener 4-3 and then fell in the night cap, 7-4.
The Bulls got off to a quick start in both games. In the opener, UB put its first two runners on base as junior Kristin Waldron continued her stellar play, driving in two runs on a single to right center. The Nittany Lions scored one in the bottom of the first, but UB regained its two-run lead in the top of the second as freshman Sammi Gallardo led off the inning with her first career home run, a shot to left center.
The Bulls continued to lead 3-1 into the bottom of the sixth inning when Penn State scored three runs to chase starting pitcher Tori Speckman, who picked up the loss. The Nittany Lions were able to withhold a Buffalo rally in the seventh for the 4-3 victory.
Waldron was perfect from the plate as she went 3-for-3 with a pair of runs batted in. Gallardo and fellow freshman Tori Pettine each went 2-for-3 from the plate.
In the second game, the Bulls again got out to an early lead as freshman Holly Luciano led off the game with a home run to left field. That long ball would be the only scoring by both teams through the first four and a half innings before Penn State erupted for six runs in the bottom of the fifth.
The Bulls tried to cut into the lead in the sixth inning as Pettine kept up the strong offensive play of the freshmen as she tripled home two runs, pulling UB within 6-3. Penn State added one run in the bottom of the sixth, but the Bulls answered in the top of the seventh as Gallardo hit her second home run of the day, this one down the left field line.
Waldron went 2-for-3 to finish up the day 5-for-6 from the plate. Four other players all had hits in the affair as well. Junior Holly Johnson picked up the loss as she went 4.2 innings, allowing six runs.
The Bulls are back in action on Saturday when they host Kent State in the first of two straight games over the weekend. First pitch is at 2:00 pm.