BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo softball team fell short in both ends of its doubleheader on Friday against Bowling Green, losing the first game, 6-1, and then falling in the second game, 12-11. UB is now 20-19 on the year and 4-4 in conference play.
Bowling Green 6, Buffalo 1
The opening game saw the two teams trade zeros for the first two innings, but Bowling Green scored three in the top of the third to take the lead. UB got one back in the bottom of the third as senior Sammi Gallardo hit a two-out double to left field and she came in to score on a single to left field from fellow senior Holly Luciano.
The Falcons added three runs though in the top of the fifth, including a two-run home run from Katie Yoho as BG extended its lead to 6-1. UB got a two-out base runner in the seventh, but couldn't score.
Senior Tori Speckman picked up the loss for the Bulls as she allowed six runs in 4.1 innings. Sophomore Nicole Aviles came on in relief and allowed just one hit, while striking out five in 2.2 innings. Jamie Kertes got the win for the Falcons as she pitched the complete game, striking out eight.
"Our pitching wasn't sharp in the first game," said head coach Trena Peel. "It's hard to beat anybody when you give them eight free passes."
Bowling Green 12, Buffalo 11
Game two was a crazy affair that saw 23 get scored and neither starter make it out of the first inning. Aviles allowed three runs in the top of the first, before being replaced by Heather Ryder in the circle. The Bulls answered in the bottom of the first as Gallardo and freshman Savanna Norcio both hit solo home runs to pull within 3-2.
However, Bowling Green scored four in the second on a grand slam from Yoho and two more in the third to take a 9-2 lead into the bottom the fourth. The Bulls hit around the order in the fourth inning, scoring six runs. UB had two runners on base with two outs when a Bowling Green throwing error opened up the big inning. The error scored the first run and then a bases loaded walk to Barrow scored the second. The big hit came from Ryder though, who hit UB's first grand slam of the season and pulled the Bulls within 9-8.
The Bulls put Speckman into the game in the fifth, but BG answered with three runs in top half of the inning to take a 12-8 lead. In the bottom half, UB continued to bat against Kertes, who came on in relief in the first. With two outs and a runner at second, Gallardo singled to left field, driving in the first run of the inning and pulling UB within 12-9. Luciano then followed with a home run to center field, driving in a pair of runs, and pulling the Bulls within 12-11.
UB put two in scoring position with two outs in the sixth inning and got a good at bat from pinch hitter Nora McGuire, who hit the ball hard to center field, but lined out. The Bulls then got a one-out double from Luciano in the seventh, but couldn't get the tying run across.
Aviles picked up the loss for UB, while Kertes picked up her second victory of the day, despite giving up nine runs. Braiden Dillow, who started the game, came back in late to record the save. UB had 12 hits in the game led by two-hit games from Gallardo, Luciano, Earnhardt and Nevez.
"Game two was a dog fight. We got down 9-2, but then we started swinging the bats," said Peel. "It's rare to lose a game when you hit four home runs, including a grand slam. I am proud of our fight today and we just have to eliminate the errors defensively and we will be ok."
The Bulls open a two-game series tomorrow vs. Toledo. First pitch is at 2:00 pm.