AKRON, OH – The University at Buffalo softball team split a Mid-American Conference doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon at Akron as the Bulls shut the Zips out in the first game 3-0 before falling in the second contest, 4-1.
Sophomore Charlotte Miller pitched a gem for the Bulls in the opening contest on Tuesday as she scattered four hits in the complete-game shutout.
The Bulls got on the board in the third inning as freshman Jenelle Martinez singled to left, advanced to second, and stole third, before she came home to score on an Akron error.
Buffalo added another run in the fourth as senior Essence Savinon led off with a walk and she was replaced on the base paths by freshman Ufuoma Ogagan, who eventually reached third base. She came in to score on a double to left center by Martinez, giving the Bulls a 2-0 lead. UB added an insurance run in the seventh following a Martinez walk as she eventually came in to score on a ground out from Leandra Jew.
Miller improved to 2-1 in the circle with the win as she struck out seven batters in the complete game win. UB had just three hits in the game, including a 2-for-3 performance from Martinez, who also had a walk, while scoring twice. Fellow freshman Karlie Fernandez recorded the other hit.
The Bulls managed just one hit in the nightcap against Akron starter Lexie Handley, who struck out 11 Buffalo batters.
The Zips scored first with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning, but the Bulls cut the lead in half in the fourth as Jessica Goldyn reached base due to an error and she advanced to second following a sacrifice bunt and third following a fly out. She ultimately came in to score as on an error from the Akron catcher.
The game remained 2-1 into the fifth when Akron scored a pair of insurance runs and the Bulls were unable to find the scoring column again.
Sophomore Ally Power picked up the loss despite striking out 11 Akron batters of her own in 6.0 innings of work. Martinez was the lone Buffalo batter to get a hit in the contest.
"In game one it was great to see Charlotte get a shutout win to start the series," said head coach Trena Peel. "She did an excellent job of bringing energy but keeping her composure at the same time. Offensively, it was great to see Jenelle staying hot. She's done a great job of stepping up in RBI situations. As a whole, this was the best day of defense that we've played in a long time. It was great to see us have our pitcher's back for 14 innings. Unfortunately, in game two we became too passive at the plate. Way too many strikeouts looking. We have to be aggressive and get hungrier for our whole at bat."
The Bulls return to Western New York this weekend when they open a three-game series with Western Michigan. There is a single game scheduled for Friday at 3pm followed by a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1pm.