Bulls Drop A Pair To Eastern Michigan
BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo softball team began Mid-American Conference play on Friday afternoon, dropping a pair of games to Eastern Michigan at Nan Harvey Field. The Eagles won the first game 13-4 in five innings and the second one 6-5.
UB's pitching staff really struggled in the opening game, allowing 10 hits and seven walks in just five innings pitched. Holly Johnson picked up the loss in the opener as she allowed four earned runs in 2.0 innings. Sophomore Tori Speckman came in and gave up three runs in 1.1 innings, while senior Haylee Land pitched the final 1.2 innings, allowing five runs.
The Bulls did score four runs in the opening game, including two in the bottom of the first inning. Holly Luciano led the game off with a walk and Alyssa Ward got on base following an Eastern Michigan error. Both runners came in to score as junior Caitlin Dekker singled through the left side. The Bulls added another run in the bottom of the second as junior Andi Saucier hit her first home run of the season, a shot to left center field. The round tripper was the third of her career. Buffalo used the long ball again in the bottom of the third as freshman Alexis Curtiss also hit one over the left center field fence. Six of UB's nine batters recorded hits in the opening game.
UB was a lot tougher in the second game, despite the 6-5 defeat. Buffalo got on the board in the bottom of the first inning as sophomore Sammi Gallardo hit a two-out single to score the first run. The Eagles responded with a three-run home run in the second and added another run in the top of the third. Eastern Michigan then added another two runs in the top of the fourth, including one on a home run from Amanda Stanton, her second homer of the game. Johnson, who started game two, was eventually pulled after 3.2 innings as she allowed nine hits and six runs.
Down 6-1, the Bulls attempted to make a comeback, which was started with a three-run fourth inning. Saucier began the inning with a single to center field and advanced to second as Tori Pettine was hit by a pitch. Freshman Karly Nevez followed it up with a single to left field, loading the bases for Luciano. The sophomore sent a single right back up the middle, scoring two runs. Following a double play, Curtiss singled to right field, scoring the third run.
Speckman pitched well in the circle in the second game as she allowed just one hit in the final 3.1 innings, keeping the Bulls in the game. UB pulled within one in the bottom of the sixth as Luciano connected on her first home run of the season, a shot to center field. Ward followed that up with a single, but was stranded on base. UB had one more chance in the bottom of the seventh as Gallardo hit a one-out single, but the Bulls were unable to drive her in.
The Bulls finished with 10 hits in the second game, including two-hit games from Luciano, Curtis, Gallardo and Saucier.
The Bulls are back in action tomorrow when they host Central Michigan. The game time, which was orginally set for 2:00 pm, has been moved back to 3:30 pm due to inclement weather in the Buffalo overnight Friday and into Saturday morning.