Bulls Swept By Cardinals in MAC Home Opener
BUFFALO, NY –The University at Buffalo softball team hosted conference rival Ball State this afternoon at Nan Harvey Field, dropping a close game early in the afternoon, 3-2, and losing the second after a lengthy rain delay, 8-4.
In game one, Ball State capitalized on a Buffalo error to take a two-run first inning lead, but the Bulls evened the score with a run in each of the fourth and fifth innings. Sharon Barrwalked to start the bottom of the fourth and scored when Alyssa Ward slammed a triple to left field. Kristin Waldron hit an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth to earn the equalizer, sending home Alex Bejarano for the score. Ball State's Kate Wilczynski homered in the top of the seventh to score the Cardinals' winning run as the Bulls were unable to counter in the bottom of the seventh.
Terese Diaz earned the start in the circle, holding the Cardinals to four hits in 6.1 innings, striking out 10 batters. Diaz stranded four runners on base, including three in the top of the third inning to prevent the Ball State score, striking out the final two batters of the inning. Barr came in as relief, pitching the final 0.2 innings.
Both teams started game two quickly, as Ball State came out with a five-run first inning, while Buffalo scored three of their own in the bottom of the first, stringing together hits from Ashley Bertot, Waldron,Jessica Griffin and Diaz. After a two hour weather delay, both teams were scoreless until the Bulls brought it within one in the bottom of the sixth inning. Diaz tripled to right center to put the Bulls in scoring position. With Taylor Franich pinch running at third base, Ward singled to right field, earning the RBI as Franich scored. However the momentum didn't last long as the Cardinals put up three more runs in the top of the seventh to seal the win. The Bulls out hit the Cardinals, 11-8. Waldron led the team with four hits on the day.
Barr started game two on the mound for the Bulls, pitching the first 2.2 innings before being relieved by Diaz. They combined for six strikeouts in the game.
The Bulls now stand at 13-23 (3-5 MAC) as they continue their home conference weekend tomorrow, playing host to Miami. First pitch is slated for 2pm at Nan Harvey Field.