LONG BEACH, CA – The University at Buffalo softball team kicked off their weekend campaign at the Long Beach State Invitational this afternoon, falling to Notre Dame, 1-0, but coming back to defeat San Diego, 5-3, as they move to 7-9 on the season.
Against Notre Dame, both teams played a strong defensive game, with the only run coming in the bottom of the sixth inning. In the bottom of the first inning, with a Notre Dame runner on third, Kristen Gallipani made an impressive catch through the fence to prevent a two-run home run and ultimately ending the inning. The first six innings remained scoreless with Buffalo's best chance at a score coming in the top of the fifth. Jaime Sheffler singled to right field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Andi Saucier. Alex Bejaranowalked to put two runners on base, but the Notre Dame defense ended the inning before the Bulls could score.
Pitcher Sharon Barr earned the start for the 10th time this season, which puts her tied for third on UB's all-time records list for games started on the mound, with 58 in her career. Barr pitched the complete game, allowing just an unearned run.
In the second game of the day, the Bulls made a sixth inning comeback to defeat San Diego, 5-3. San Diego scored first, earning a run in the top of the third inning, but the Bulls evened it up in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI from Taylor Franich. The Toreros scored two more in the top of the fifth to retake the lead but Buffalo staged an impressive comeback, scoring four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to ultimately win the game. With two outs and the bases loaded, Alyssa Ward singled to left field and advanced to second on the throw to earn two RBIs, while Franich scored on a wild pitch in the next play. Sheffler singled to give Ward the fourth Buffalo run of the inning and the win, as the Bulls were able to hold off the Toreros in the top of the seventh. Sheffler led the team on the day, batting .600 and going 3-for-5 at the plate.
Terese Diaz started game two on the mound for Buffalo, pitching 5.1 innings while striking out seven batters, but it was Barr who picked up the win, pitching the final 1.2 innings to bring her record to 6-5 on the season.
The Long Beach State Invitational continues tomorrow, with the Bulls taking on Purdue at 2:15 pm (ET), followed by a game against host team, Long Beach State at 11:00 pm (ET).