BUFFALO, NY - After having its last three contests canceled due to the weather, the University at Buffalo softball team finally got back on the field this afternoon and split its two games at the Mizuno Invitational on the campus of UC-Riverside. Buffalo defeated Southern Utah, 6-3, before falling to IUPUI, 10-2.
In the opener, UB got out to an early 1-0 deficit against Southern Utah, but tied things up in the top of the third as senior Alyssa Ward hit a one-out double to left field. Ward was then driven in by freshman Anissa Pinedo, who singled up the middle. Southern Utah regained the lead with two runs in the bottom half of the third, but Buffalo again responded, this time scoring five times in the top of the fourth inning.
Holly Luciano was hit by a pitch to lead the inning off and Karly Nevez followed up with a bunt single. After an RBI groundout from Sammi Gallardo, sophomore Alexis Curtiss singled to left field to tie the game up. The Bulls loaded the bases as senior Andi Saucier broke the tie with an RBI bunt single. Two runs came in to score on the play due to an error on the pitcher. A fifth run came in to score as senior Jessica Griffin singled up the middle, which scored Pinedo.
UB's pitching then stepped up as Southern Utah went scoreless over the final four innings. Freshman Nicole Aviles came on in relief to pitch three innings and pick up her second win of the season. Junior Tori Speckman recorded her second save of the year, striking out three in two innings and not allowing a hit.
Ward and Pinedo both had three-hit games, while Nevez and Luciano both finished with two hits. As a team, UB recorded a season-high 15 hits, coming from eight different players.
In the second game, IUPUI scored four runs in the top of the fourth and never trailed as UB was able to manage just two runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Griffin opened the inning with a single to right field and was replaced on the bases by freshman Kenzie Koch. Koch advanced to second after a sacrifice bunt, and came in to score as Luciano belted a two-run home run to right center. UB was unable to do anything else offensively as IUPUI put up two runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.
Freshman Dani Cowan picked up the loss as she allowed six runs in 4.1 innings despite striking out a career-high seven batters. Speckman pitched one inning, while Heather Ryder finished it out and was charged with four runs.
The Bulls had six hits, including two from Curtiss. Nevez, Saucier, Griffin and Luciano recorded the others for UB.
Buffalo continues play tomorrow at the Mizuno Invitational with a pair of games against UC-Riverside beginning at 2:30 pm Eastern Time.