Softball Splits MAC Opener with Western Michigan
KALAMAZOO, MI – After more than a week on hiatus, the University at Buffalo softball team opened the Mid-American Conference portion of their season with a doubleheader against Western Michigan this afternoon. The Bulls lost the first game, 6-0, but came back to take the second game, 4-1, as they move to 9-19 (1-1 MAC) on the season.
The Bulls and the Broncos got off to a slow start in game one, as the first five innings were scoreless for both teams. Jessica Griffin andJaime Sheffler each had singles early in the game, but the Broncos pulled away from the Bulls in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring six unanswered runs to ultimately silence the Bulls. Taylor Franich andSharon Barr each had hits in the seventh inning, but the Broncos' defense stranded the runners to end the game.
Terese Diaz earned the start on the mound, striking out six batters in 5.1 innings of work. Barr came in as relief for the remainder of the game, adding a strikeout to the count.
The Bulls recovered in game two, scoring early to seal the win. Kristin Waldron started things off for Buffalo, reaching base on a WMU fielding error and stole second to advance.Ashley Bertot walked and both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Barr. Waldron was able to capitalize on another Bronco error to score the first run of the game. Diaz hit her second home run of the season, earning two RBIs on the play, to put the Bulls up 3-0 in the first. The Bulls added an insurance run in the top of the fourth. Griffin singled to open the inning and was replaced on base by Dominique Carcone. Carcone advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Alyssa Ward and eventually rounded the bases to score as Andi Saucier flied out to right field to earn the RBI. The Broncos scored a run in the bottom of the seventh but it wasn't enough as the Bulls went on to win, 4-1.
Barr pitched the complete game, striking out three batters in seven innings, while holding the Broncos to three hits. The start was Barr's 17th of the season and 65th of her career, which puts her in the top spot on UB's all-time career record list for most starts on the mound, with the previous record being 64, set in 2005.
The Bulls continue their road trip with a pair of games against Northern Illinois on Saturday and Sunday. The first game is scheduled for tomorrow at 3:00 pm in DeKalb, Illinois.