MADERIA BEACH, FL – For the second straight weekend, the University at Buffalo softball team (7-8, 0-0 MAC) was able to earn a Saturday sweep as they downed Incarnate Word and Alabama State in a pair of games down in Maderia Beach, FL. Buffalo earned the 4-0 shutout victory over Incarnate Word and then posted a 3-1 come-from-behind victory over Alabama State in the nightcap.
"Today was an intense day for us," stated head coach Mike Roberts. "We finally got all three phases of the game together. We really executed well, the pitchers stepped up and we got some clutch hits. We are looking to play the same way tomorrow."
In the first game of the afternoon, the Bulls got an outstanding effort in the circle from junior Lace Smith as she pitched her first complete game shutout of the season as UB was able to claim the 4-0 win over Incarnate Word.
The Bulls were able to put up a pair of runs in the top of the first inning as Leandra Jew and Danielle Lallos notched singles to give the Bulls runners on the corners with one out. Catrell Robertson then stepped in and collected a RBI on a sacrifice fly to center field. After Lallos had moved over to third, Jenelle Martinez reached first on a fielder's choice and then attempted a steal which Lallos timed perfectly as she scored on the throw down to second base.
After Smith got out of the bottom of the first after giving up a leadoff double, UB was able to make it 4-0 with two more runs in the second inning. Jessica Goldyn earned a bunt single and advanced all the way to third after an errant throw before Taylor Scott earned a walk to give UB runners on the corners with no outs. Ufuoma Ogagan then earned a RBI as she put down the sacrifice bunt. Anna Aguon was hit by a pitch to give UB runners on the corners again and Lallos delivered a RBI single to left field to plate Scott and make the score 4-0 in favor of the Bulls.
Smith allowed a pair of runners to reach base in the bottom of the second but fought through the adversity and struck out a batter to get out of the threat. She was then able to cruise over the next three innings but UB couldn't plate any more insurance runs, as the teams went to the sixth with UB clinging to the 4-0 lead.
Incarnate Word was able to record two singles in the sixth inning but Smith once again battled through the jam and forced back-to-back pop ups to second base to escape with no harm done.
UB put a pair of runners on in the seventh inning but weren't able to score a run as Incarnate Word came to bat in the bottom of the seventh trailing 4-0. They were able to put two more runners on base in the inning but Smith forced a pop up to the catcher and a pop up to the pitcher to close out her second win of the season.
Smith went 7.0 innings while allowing eight hits, no runs and striking out four batters as she now has a 2-1 record on the year.
Lallos finished off the win going 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored while Jew and Goldyn each went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Martinez and Alissa Karjel each recorded a hit while Scott notched a run as UB won their fifth game in six tries.
In the second game of the afternoon, the Bulls were able to erase a one-run deficit and collect their second straight Saturday sweep, downing Alabama State 3-1.
The Bulls stranded Jew on first base after a walk in the top of the first inning and the Hornets responded in the bottom of the inning with a home run to left field to take the 1-0 lead through an inning of work.
Junior Ally Power was able to work her way out of a jam in the bottom of the second inning as the Hornets put a pair of runners on but Power forced a pop up to end the inning.
The game entered the fifth inning with UB trailing 1-0 but Buffalo was able to produce a run in the top half of the inning to tie the game, 1-1. Alyssa Cuevas started things off with a double to center field and Jew notched a bunt single to give UB runners on the corners with one out. Cuevas was then able to come home as the Alabama State pitcher threw a wild pitch.
The Hornets put two runners on and threatened to score the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth inning but Power was able to dig deep and notch a swinging strikeout to send the game to the sixth tied, 1-1.
Buffalo was able to plate a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning to take the 3-1 lead and eventual win. With Ufuoma Ogagan on third and Goldyn on second with one out, Nicolette Jacobs collected her first hit and RBI of the season as she sent a single into right field to plate Ogagan. Goldyn was also able to score from second base as the catcher committed an error.
Power then did the rest for the Bulls as she was able to sit down the final six Hornets in order to earn her team-leading fifth win of the season.
In the circle, Power was brilliant for the Bulls as she went 7.0 innings and allowed just four hits, one run and struck out six batters as she improved to 5-5 on the year with a 4.38 ERA.
The UB offense was only able to collect five hits but it was enough in the win as Jew earned the only multi-hit effort on the team, going 2-for-3. Jacobs went 1-for-3 with a RBI while Cuevas went 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored in the win.
UB will return to the diamond on Sunday at 11:30 am as they will take on the Northern Kentucky Norse in their first game of the day. In their second game, the Bulls will square off with Seton Hall at 2:00 pm.