BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo softball team combined for 23 runs and 29 hits on Friday afternoon, splitting a doubleheader with the Toledo Rockets. The Bulls took the first game, 14-3, in just five innings, while they fell in extra innings in game two, 11-9. The victory snapped a six-game losing skid for Buffalo and was its first MAC win of the season.
In the opening game, UB used a nine-run third inning, helping it establish a Division I program record 14 runs in one game. Sophomore Tori Speckman picked up the win for the Bulls are she pitched all five innings and stuck out seven batters, the second most she has struck out in one game this season.
It didn't take long for Buffalo to get on the board as sophomore Holly Luciano led the bottom of the first off with a double and stole third. Freshman Karly Nevez then walked and immediately stole second. Following two outs, junior Alyssa Ward fouled off six straight pitches before finding one to her liking and knocking it over the center field wall. The Bulls added two more runs in the bottom of the second when the Toledo first baseman was unable to hold on to a throw across the infield.
UB continued to hold its five run lead into the bottom of the third when it had its biggest scoring inning of the year. Freshman Alexis Curtiss set the tone with a lead off double, but was caught trying to steal third. Following a walk to Caitlin Dekker and a single from Ward, sophomore Sammi Gallardo hit a triple, driving in both runs. Gallardo then came in to score on a single up the middle from Waldron. Following a fly out for the second out, sophomore Tori Pettine singled up the middle to score Waldron. A couple of Toledo errors kept the innings alive and Buffalo made it pay as Dekker smacked a two-run home run off the scoreboard to cap the scoring in the inning.
The Rockets got on the board in the fourth with a couple of home runs, but Speckman recorded the final five outs in order for her sixth win.
The Bulls had their bats working for them early again in the second game as they scored the first five runs, but ultimately both teams hit well as they combined for seven home runs in the game. In the bottom of the first, Nevez reached on a one-out single and was driven in on a two-run home run from Curtiss. The Bulls ended up going back-to-back as Dekker hit one over the left field wall for her second long ball of the day.
In the bottom of the second junior Jessica Griffin led off the inning with a home run to left field and UB tacked on another run as Curtiss drove in Nevez on a double.
The Rockets got on board with two runs in the top of the fourth inning, but the Bulls got one of those back in the bottom of the forth as Pettine laid down a perfect bunt, which drove in Waldron. Neither team scored in the fifth inning, but Toledo came out in the top of the six and put up a four spot, which tied the game at six.
The Bulls then regained a 7-6 lead in the bottom half of the inning as Luciano blasted a home run to center field, but Toledo took its first lead in the top of the seventh, scoring three runs to go up 9-7.
The Bulls again fought back in the bottom of the seventh as Gallardo and Waldron hit back-to-back doubles to put two runs in scoring position. Griffin singled one home and the second scored on a Pettine groundout, tying the game up at 9-9.
Toledo then used the long ball again in the top of the eighth, as Brooke Gates hit a two-run home run, giving the Rockets the lead for good.
Johnson picked up the loss for the Bulls as she allowed eight runs in 7.0 innings, while striking out six batters. Curtiss, who tied a school record with four-hit day on Wednesday, had another one today, going 4-for-5 from the plate with three runs batted in. Griffin had three hits in the second game, while four other players finished with two.
In all, Curtiss finished the doubleheader 5-for-8, while Griffin finished it 4-for-7. Dekker was 3-for-7 with two home runs, while Gallardo also had a pair of multi hit games as she finished 4-for-8. Every UB starter had a hit in the first game, while eight of the nine batters had hits in the second game.
The Bulls will remain home tomorrow as they host Bowling Green at 2:00 pm.