Speckman and Gallardo break program records
Softball goes 4-0 on the weekend
Senior infielder Sammi Gallardo broke the softball team’s all-time record for home runs in the Bulls’ 6-5 win over Western Michigan on April 25. Yusong Shi, The Spectrum
Individual performances by members of the softball team will forever be remembered as two seniors etched their names into the school record books this weekend.
Senior pitcher Tori Speckman and senior shortstop Sammi Gallardo are now the sole leaders of wins and homeruns for the Buffalo softball program, respectively.
The Bulls (25-20, 9-5 Mid-American Conference) swept two MAC opponents, going 4-0 on the weekend. Buffalo defeated Western Michigan (16-31, 7-11 MAC) in a doubleheader on Friday and swept Northern Illinois (20-27, 8-10 MAC) in a two-game series on Saturday and Sunday.
Speckman earned her 43rd career victory in a 6-2 win over Northern Illinois on Sunday to complete the weekend sweep. Gallardo hit her 28th career homerun in the second game against Western Michigan on Friday.
Head coach Trena Peel is proud of all her seniors and the way they're fighting heading into the MAC tournament.
"Our senior class has never been to the conference tournament so we're doing everything possible to get us there," Peel said. "Both Tori and Sammi are breaking records and they're leaving their mark on the program."
The Bulls started the game off quickly with four runs in the second inning. Junior outfielder Karly Nevez singled in the first run for the Bulls while junior catcher Hayley Barrow singled in the second. Gallardo doubled home both Barrow and senior infielder Tori Pettine to take a four run lead. Northern Illinois scored in the second and seventh but ultimately fell short of catching the Bulls.
Speckman set the all-time wins record and completed the sweep against the Huskies on Sunday, but it was her performance on Saturday that demonstrated her dominance. Speckman tossed 11 strikeouts and gave up only one earned run. The Bulls gave their pitcher early run support with three runs in the first inning. Buffalo added an extra four runs in the sixth to clinch the 7-2 victory.
The Bulls defeated Western Michigan 6-2 in their first game of the doubleheader on Friday. Senior outfielder Holly Luciano singled home the first run of the game in the third inning. Luciano caused a throwing error that allowed a run to score when she stole second base. Senior pitcher and infielder Heather Ryder singled home Luciano to give the Bulls a 3-0 lead.
Speckman gave up two homeruns in the third inning that closed the Buffalo lead to just one run. That would be her only blemish on the day, though, as she closed out the Broncos with four straight scoreless innings.
In the second game of the doubleheader against Western Michigan, Buffalo gave Barrow the nod at starting pitcher. Barrow's shaky first inning put the Bulls down 3-0 early, but she would find her command for a solid eight inning complete game performance.
Gallardo's three-run homerun in the third inning brought the team back to even, although not for long as the Barrow would give up another run to give the Broncos a 4-3 lead.
A solo homerun by Gallardo in the fifth inning not only evened the match for the Bulls, but also secured herself as Buffalo's all-time homerun leader. The Bulls found themselves trailing again after the fifth inning but would tie it up in the seventh on a RBI groundout by Ryder.
In extra innings, freshman outfielder Ashton Earnhardt stole home to give the Bulls a one-run lead in the eighth inning and allow Barrow to close out the Broncos for the doubleheader sweep.
Peel is happy to see the team hitting and pitching well at the end of the year when they need it the most.
"The team is functioning on all cylinders and right now we're working like a well oiled machine," Peel said. "They're hungry and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel."
With only two games left in the regular season, the Bulls are fighting for a better seeding in the MAC tournament. The Bulls head to Kent State (24-16, 10-4 MAC) next weekend to try to surpass the Flashes in the MAC East. The first game is set for Saturday at 2 p.m.
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