Bulls Drop Weekend Finale To Eastern Illinois, 7-6
LOUISVILLE, KY - The University at Buffalo softball team concluded play at the Cardinal Classic on Sunday morning with a 7-6 loss to Eastern Illinois. The loss drops Buffalo to 2-7 on the season.
Eastern Illinois scored the first three runs of the game, taking a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the third when the Bulls got on the board. Freshman Ryleigh Fitzgerald hit a one-out triple, Buffalo's first three-base hit of the season. Following a groundout, junior Tori Pettine was hit by a pitch and while trying to steal second, the Panther catcher threw the ball away, scoring Buffalo's first run and putting Pettine at third. She later came in to score on a single from Andi Saucier.
EIU got one back in the top of the fourth, but the Bulls responded with three more in the bottom half of the inning. Junior Sammi Gallardo hit a one-out single and moved to second after Caitlin Dekker was hit by a pitch. A single up the middle from Jessica Griffin scored Gallardo and moved Dekker to third. Sophomore Alexis Curtiss then drove in both runs with a single to left field, putting the Bulls up, 5-4.
Buffalo added another run in the bottom of the fifth as Saucier led off with a walk and was replaced on the bases by Karly Nevez, who stole second. Nevez then came in to score as Alyssa Ward singled up the middle to score the run. Buffalo held a 6-4 advantage going into the sixth inning, but the Panthers scored three times in the top of the sixth and held on for a 7-6 win.
Freshman Dani Cowan picked up the start and went 2.1 innings, getting a no decision. Junior Heather Ryder was tagged with the loss as she allowed four runs in 2.2 innings, just two of those earned. Junior Tori Speckman pitched the final 2.0 innings, striking out three.
All six Buffalo hits came from six different players, while Saucier was on base three times, going 1-for-2 with two walks.
The Bulls head to the Marshall Tournament next weekend beginning on Friday at 10:00 am against Robert Morris.