BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo softball team overcame an early deficit to take the opening game of a two-game series with Akron, 6-4. The victory is UB's 11th of the season and improves them to 6-9 in the MAC.
The Zips got out to the early lead on Saturday afternoon as Allison Dorr hit a three-run home run to left field with two outs. The Bulls got one back in the bottom half of the inning as Holly Luciano and Ashley Bertot each hit infield singles and executed a double steal to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Junior Kristin Waldron drove in the first run of the game as she hit a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Bulls used a solid defensive performance over the second and third innings to keep things at 3-1 heading into the bottom of the third. Freshman Tori Pettine laid out to catch a sinking bunt in foul territory in the second and UB turned a double play on a line drive to the pitcher in the third. Senior Lindsay Hampton began the bottom of the third with an infield single and advanced to second on a single by Luciano. Both runners moved up on a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt from Bertot and both would come in to score on a single up the middle from Waldron. The junior would go on to steal second and was driven in on a double from Pettine to put the Bulls up 4-3.
The Bulls added to their lead in the fourth, staging a two-out rally. Sophomore Andi Saucier began it with a single to left field and Hampton continued her solid day with a single up the middle. Both runs came home on a double to center field by Luciano.
The Zips scored one run in the top of the fifth, but that is as close as they would get as the Bulls retired seven of the last eight Akron batters. Junior Holly Johnson pitched six stellar innings to pick up her sixth win of the season. She struck out seven batters, while walking just one. Freshman Tori Speckman came in to pitch a perfect seventh inning for her first career save.
Two Bulls were perfect from the plate as Luciano went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Hampton went 2-for-2, scoring both times that she reached base. Waldron had another three runs batted in and has now had a hit in 13 of UB's last 14 games. Six different UB players registered hits on the afternoon.
UB will be back in action tomorrow to wrap up its two-game series with Akron. First pitch is set for 1:00 pm. Prior to the game, UB will recognize seniors Lindsay Hampton, Candice Sheehan, Kelly Cummings, Kate Kraus and Alexandria Bejarano.