BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo softball team split its doubleheader with Western Michigan on Saturday falling in the opener 2-0 and then taking the second contest, 5-4 in nine innings. The two teams were to play single games today and tomorrow, but made it a doubleheader due to weather concerns on Sunday.
In both games the Bulls got stellar pitching out of the bullpen from freshman Tori Speckman, who went a combined 11.2 innings in relief and allowed just one run. Junior Haylee Land started the first game for the Bulls and went just 2.0 innings as she allowed a two-run home run in the top of the third. Those two runs would wind up being the only two in the game. UB scattered four hits over the seven innings.
In the second game, UB got on the board in the bottom of the first as freshman Holly Luciano led off the inning with a double to left center. She was bunted over to third and then came in to score on a bunt single from junior Kristin Waldron. The Bulls added another two runs in the bottom of the second as Kelli Gleiser reached on a one-out single and then stole second. She came in to score on an error by the Bronco catcher as she was unable to play Lucanio's sacrifice attempt. Luciano would go on to reach second on an illegal pitch and then stole third, coming in to score on a sacrifice fly from Alexandra Bejarano.
The Broncos would go on to tie the game up in the top half of the third inning off starter Holly Johnson, but Speckman came in and pitched the Bulls out of a jam to keep the game tied. The Bulls regained the lead in the bottom of the third on an infield single from Andi Saucier, which scored Alyssa Ward. The Bulls had the one-run lead until the top of the sixth when the Broncos would tie the game up, scoring on a wild pitch. The game remain tied into the ninth inning when the Bulls would pull through.
With the top of the order up, Luciano reached on a bunt single to get things started. She moved to second on sacrifice bunt from Bejarano, which set the stage for Waldron who was looking to cap off what was already a stellar weekend for the junior. On a 2-0 count, Waldron got a pitch right down the middle, which she singled up the right side, scoring Luciano from second.
Speckman got her team-leading fifth win of the season as she went 6.2 innings in relief, allowing just three hits and one run, striking out two. The Bulls had 12 hits, including two from Luciano, Waldron, Ward and Pettine.
UB will remain home on Wednesday afternoon as it hosts Cleveland State for a mid-week doubleheader. The first game begins at 3:00 pm.