ATHENS, GA – The University at Buffalo softball team put on a defensive and pitching clinic in the nightcap of their two games on Saturday, splitting for the second straight day at the Georgia Softball Classic.
The Bulls defeated Winthrop 1-0 in the second game of the day, despite recording just one hit in the game. Junior Holly Johnson picked up the win, pitching her first complete game shutout, striking out a season-high seven batters. She pitched out of trouble in four different innings that Winthrop had runners on base, including the second when it had runners at second and third with two outs. Johnson answered the call though with a strikeout.
The game remained tied at 0-0 in the bottom of the fourth when the Bulls scored the game's only run. Freshman Holly Luciano led the inning off with Buffalo's only hit, a bunt single to the pitcher. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Kristin Waldron and then stole third. Luciano remained on third as freshman Jessica Griffin worked out a walk. The Bulls then attempted a suicide squeeze, which turned into a double steal, plating Luciano with the only run of the game.
The Bulls stole four bases in all against Winthrop, including a steal from Andi Saucier, who reached on a walk in the third inning.
The Bulls dropped the opener to N.C. State, 6-1 as the Wolfpack picked up a pair of runs in both the second and third innings, while adding another in the fifth and sixth. UB struck in the top of the sixth as Ashley Bertot reached base on a fielder's choice, advancing to second on a stolen base. Bertot would get to third on a wild pitch, eventually scoring on a single to right field from Griffin.
In addition to Griffin, the Bulls also got hits from Luciano, fellow freshman Sammi Gallardo and Saucier, who doubled to lead off the third. Junior Haylee Land picked up the loss for the Bulls as she allowed four runs in 2.1 innings. Freshman Tori Speckman came on in relief, pitching the final 3.2 innings.
The Bulls conclude play at the Georgia Softball Classic tomorrow morning as they face North Dakota State at 9:00 am.