Bulls Drop A Pair Down In Georgia
ATHENS, GA – The University at Buffalo softball team dropped two games on Friday during the opening day of play at the Georgia Softball Classic. UB fell 7-6 in the first game to Winthrop and 3-0 to Tennessee Tech in the afternoon.
The opening game between the Bulls and Winthrop Eagles was a wild one. UB overcame two separate deficits in the late innings before falling 7-6. Winthrop went on to score three runs in the top of the first before the Bulls responded in the bottom half of the opening inning. UB used a run-scoring triple from freshman Alexis Curtiss and an RBI single from Alyssa Ward to score the two runs.
Both teams tacked on an additional run in the second inning as the Bulls pulled within 4-3 on a single up the middle from sophomore Holly Luciano, which scored junior Andi Saucier. The Eagles regained their two-run advantage in the top of the fourth on a double to right center, but the Bulls were there to answer again. Mounting a two-out rally in the bottom of the fourth, sophomore Tori Pettine reached on an infield error. She moved to second on a single from Luciano and both runners moved into scoring position on a passed ball. The Bulls then called senior Kristin Waldron to the plate and she hit a pinch hit single to right field, tying the game up at 5-5.
Winthrop again took a lead in the top of the fifth on a one-out home run, but the Bulls tied it up in the bottom half of the inning, again using a two-out rally. Junior Caitlin Dekker doubled to center field and advanced to third on an illegal pitch. She came in to score on a single up the middle by sophomore Sammi Gallardo. Winthrop regained the lead in the top half of the sixth inning as it scored on a two-out single to left center. The Bulls were unable to score in either the sixth or the seventh despite putting runners on base in both innings.
Junior Holly Johnson picked up the loss despite pitching 7.0 innings in relief and striking out seven batters. Luciano and Dekker each finished the game with a pair of hits as five different player drove in runs for the Bulls.
The UB offense was stymied in its second game of the day as the Bulls fell to Tennessee Tech, 3-0. Neither team was able to find its way on to the scoreboard over the first three innings before the Golden Eagles scored one in the bottom of the third as UB senior Haylee Land walked in a run. The Bulls were able to turn a double play to prevent further damage. Tennessee Tech added two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning as it hit a run-scoring triple with the second run coming in on the throw.
UB sophomore Tori Speckman started the game, pitching 2.1 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits. Land came in and pitched 1.0 inning, allowing just one hit, but walking three. Johnson pitched the final 2.2 innings for the Bulls. UB managed four hits in the contest, one each from the top four spots of the lineup (Luciano, Waldron, Curtiss, Ward).
The Bulls continue play at the Georgia Softball Classic tomorrow beginning with Western Illinois at 9:00 am. UB will then face the host Bulldogs at 1:00 pm. Georgia is currently ranked 14th in both the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) and the ESPN.com/USA Softball polls.