BUFFALO, NY – Following a 12-day layoff, the University at Buffalo softball team was back in action on Friday, splitting its Mid-American Conference Opener with Toledo, dropping the first game 6-2 and then winning game two, 5-4.
In the opener, the host Rockets got out to a 1-0 lead with a home run in the bottom of the second before UB tied things up in the top of the third. Freshman Kelli Gleiser led off the inning with single to left field, advancing all the way to third on a stolen base and a wild pitch. Gleiser came in to score as Alexandra Bejarano reached on an error.
The Rockets responded with two runs in the bottom of the third and three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 6-1 advantage. UB added another run in the top of the sixth as Andi Saucier led of the inning with an infield single, ultimately reaching third after a pair of groundouts. She came in to score on a single to right field from junior Kristin Waldron.
Junior Holly Johnson picked up the loss as she went three innings, allowing three runs and striking out three batters. Fellow junior Haylee Land pitched the other three innings, allowing three runs. Freshman Holly Luciano went 3-for-4 in the opener, while Waldron also had a multiple hit game, going 2-for-3.
The Bulls got off to a quick start in game two as it scored in the top of the first as Waldron hit a two-out home run to right field, her first homer of the season. The Bulls got out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the third as Gleiser hit a one-out single, advancing to second on a stolen base. She was driven in on a double from Bejarano. Toledo scored single runs in the bottom of the third and the fifth to tie the game up at 2-2, which is what it remained heading into the seventh inning.
With one out in the top of the seventh, Bejarano hit a triple to right center. Waldron followed with a walk and Luciano drove in the go-ahead run with a single up the middle. The Bulls loaded the bases with two outs in the inning and sophomore Jessica Griffin singled, scoring Luciano and Alyssa Ward, giving the Bulls a 5-2 lead. The Rockets opened the bottom half of the inning with a home run and also scored a second run on a two-out double to pull within 5-4. That is as close as Toledo would get as Johnson struck out the final batter of the game.
Freshman Tori Speckman picked up her second victory as she pitched six innings, striking out five. Johnson came on in the seventh after the home run and struck out the side, despite allowing a run, for her first save.
Four Bulls picked up multiple hit games including Bejarano, Waldron, Luciano and Griffin. Waldron now has five runs batted in this season, which ties her for second place in school history for career runs batted in with 67.
The Bulls are back in action tomorrow for the first of two straight at Bowling Green. First pitch tomorrow is set for 2:00 pm.