May 3, 2014

Speckman’s No Hitter Caps Off 9-0 Victory Of Kent State

KENT, OH - The University at Buffalo softball team put forth one of its most complete efforts of the season and the only thing that was able to slow the Bulls down temporarily was the weather.  UB went on to defeat Kent State, 9-0.  Senior Tori Speckman pitched her second no hitter of the season as the Bulls won their fifth straight conference road game.  The Bulls are now 26-20 and 10-5 in MAC Play.  The 26 wins are a new program record.

While Speckman was unstoppable in the circle, the UB offense put up nine runs, highlighted by a four-RBI performance from sophomore Ryleigh Fitzgerald.

The Bulls loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the second in a scoreless ballgame when they got a welcoming sight.  Junior Alexis Curtiss came on as a pinch hitter, seeing her first action at the plate in over a month.  Despite being retired on a pop up, it was a big addition for the Bulls.  With one away, senior Sammi Gallardo put UB on the board with a two-run single, scoring both freshman Ashton Earnhardt and junior Karly Nevez.

UB added to its lead in the third inning as Hayley Barrow reached on a leadoff walk and moved to second on a single from Earnhardt.  Nevez then doubled to left center to drive in a run and moved Earnhardt to third.  Fitzgerald stepped to the plate and put down a perfect suicide squeeze to drive in Earnhardt, while Gallardo picked up her third RBI of the game with a single down the left field line.

The Bulls remained ahead 5-0 into the top of the fourth and loaded the bases before a lengthy rain delay stopped play for nearly 90 minutes.  UB came back from the delay and two fielder's choice plays put two out in the inning.  Senior Tori Pettine stepped to the plate and was hit by a pitch to drive in a run and then Fitzgreald followed it up as she cleared the bases with a double to right center, giving the Bulls a 9-0 lead.

Speckman continued to dominate as she pitched to just two over the minimum for her second no hitter of the year.  She becomes the first player in school history with multiple no hitters.

"Wow, I'm so proud of my girls! Tori carried us on the mound with the no-no and the hitters stuck to the game plan at the plate," said head coach Trena Peel.  "We are playing with emotion and I think thats why we have been so successful."

Speckman improved to 18-11 on the season, picking up her 44th career victory.  She struck out four batters and allowed no walks in the five-inning complete game.  Fitzgerald finished the day with a career-best four runs batted in as she went 1-for-1 officially from the plate, including her RBI sacrifice bunt.  Gallardo moved her hitting streak to 11 games as she reached base three times this afternoon and drove in three runs.

Seven different players recorded hits and three players had multi-hit games as Nevez went 2-for-3 with a run batted in and Earnhardt also picked up a pair of hits.

The Bulls chased Kent State ace Emma Johnson after just three innings as she allowed seven hits and six runs.

"We are in the process of writing our own history," Peel added.  "At this point of the season that is what you want to see as a coach.  I can see the fire in all 19 of our player's eyes."

The Bulls and Golden Flashes will wrap up the regular season tomorrow at 1pm.  A UB win will clinch an outright East Division Title.  A UB win and a Ball State loss will tie the two teams for the regular season championship.