OXFORD, OH – The University at Buffalo softball team split its conference doubleheader with Miami on Friday afternoon, winning the opener 5-3 in extra innings, but suffering a tough loss in the second half, losing 3-2 on a two-run Miami walk-off homerun. UB ends the day with a 5-5 conference record.
The Bulls came back in the opener, scoring two runs in the eighth inning for their fifth conference victory of the season. Miami got out to an early lead as it took a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the second and held on to it until the fourth inning. Sophomore Ashley Bertot led off the top of the fourth with a bunt single and she was driven home on a long double to left center by junior Kristin Waldron. Waldron moved over to third following an infield single from Tori Pettine and eventually scored after freshman Sammi Gallardo reached on a fielder's choice. Buffalo scored a third run in the inning off a sacrifice fly from senior Alexandra Bejarano, giving UB a 3-1 lead.
The RedHawks tied the game in the bottom of the fifth, chasing Buffalo starter Tori Speckman. The game remained tied heading into extra innings and the Bulls got a boost from senior Lindsey Hampton, who led off the inning with a triple down the left field line. Freshman Holly Luciano drove her in with a single and the Bulls squeezed a second run out with two outs, thanks to a couple RedHawk errors, the second forcing Bertot home for the 5-3 lead. Following a leadoff walk in the bottom of the eighth, junior Holly Johnson retired the next three batters to preserve the win.
Johnson picked up her fifth victory of the season as she pitched 3.2 innings of relief, allowing just one hit and striking out three batters. The Bulls had six hits in the game, including a 2-for-3 performance from Pettine.
Both pitchers were strong early on in the second game with Buffalo scoring the only runs over the first six and half innings of play. Bejarano blasted a two-run homer run to left field, giving the Bulls a 2-0 lead. Johnson and Speckman combined to put up zeros over the first six innings of play, but the RedHawks prevailed in their final at bat. Miami pulled within one on a run scoring single to lead off the inning, but the Bulls responded by getting two quick outs. However before they could record the final out, Miami's Daniela Torres hit a two-run shot to right field, giving Miami the come from behind victory.
Speckman picked up the loss as she went 3.1 innings in relief. Johnson pitched the first 3.1 innings, allowing just one hit, while walking and striking out two. The Bulls had five hits in the game, including two from Gallardo.
The Bulls are back in action tomorrow as they face Ball State in the first of two games. First pitch is set for 2:00 pm.