COLUMBUS, OH – While the final result may have been the same in today's doubleheader with Ohio State, little else was the same for the University at Buffalo softball team as they recorded a season-high 15 hits in the second game defeat. The Bulls lost the first game 5-0 and the second 8-5.
In the opener the Buckeyes used a four-run second inning en route to the 5-0 victory. All five runs from Ohio State were scored with two outs, including the one it tacked on in the fifth. It was all Ohio State would need as it received stellar pitching, allowing the Bulls to just two hits.
The Bulls had a chance to get into the scoring column in the bottom of the fifth as sophomore Holly Luciano hit a one-out double to left field and advanced to third on an error from the left fielder. However, she would be stranded at third as the Buckeyes recorded the final two outs of the inning.
The Bulls got their offense working in the second game, recording four hits in the opening inning. Freshman Karly Nevez hit a one-out double and advanced to third on a single from fellow freshman Alexis Curtiss. Nevez came in to score on a single from junior Caitlin Dekker. The Bulls looked to extend their lead, but Curtiss was thrown out at the plate on a hit from Alyssa Ward.
The top of the order struck again in the third inning as Holly Luciano opened the inning on a bunt single. She moved to second on a ground out from Nevez and came in to score on a single from Curtiss.
However, Ohio State continued its theme of two-out runs as it used a pair of home runs in the bottom of the third, scoring five runs. The Bulls added another run in the top of the fourth as Jessica Griffin opened the inning with a double to left center. She was replaced on base by sophomore Kelli Gleiser, who stole third and was then driven in on a single up the middle from sophomore Tori Pettine.
The Buckeyes again struck in the bottom of the fifth with a run and two more in the bottom of the sixth as they extended their lead to 8-3. UB had one final push in them though in the top of the seventh and they cut into the Ohio State lead. Curtiss led off the inning with a double to left center and scored on a one-out single from Andi Saucier, who advanced to second on the throw home. Ward then singled up the middle to score Saucier and make it an 8-5 game. The Bulls managed to get the tying run to the plate, but the game ultimately ended as Pettine stuck out following an eight pitch at bat.
Curtiss went a perfect 4-for-4 from the plate as UB pounded out 15 hits in game two. The four hits are tied for the most in school history since joining Division I, which has now been done 13 times. In all, five players finished with multi-hit games as Dekker, Ward, Griffin and Pettine each finished with two hits.
The Bulls continued to struggle in the circle in both games of the doubleheader, despite sophomore Tori Speckman pitching a complete game in the opening game. Speckman ended up picking up the loss in both games as she finished the day as she pitched 8.2 innings all together, giving up eight runs and hitting seven batters. Senior Holly Johnson pitched the final 3.1 innings of game number two.
The Bulls will return home this weekend as they resume Mid-American Conference play by hosting Toledo in a doubleheader beginning at 1pm.