Bulls win first game of MAC Tournament
It has been a season of firsts for the Buffalo softball team. The Bulls have won the most games in program history and claimed their first-ever Mid-American Conference East regular season title.
They took a step toward another first Wednesday with a victory in the opening game of the MAC Tournament.
The Bulls (28-20, 11-5 MAC) defeated Northern Illinois (22-30, 10-12 MAC), 11-6, in Akron, Ohio. The Bulls' offense was stellar all game, scoring a run in every inning, including a four-run first inning.
The Bulls began with four runs off RBI singles by junior outfielder Karly Nevez and senior pitcher/infielder Heather Ryder. Ryder finished the game with three RBIs.
Senior outfielder Holly Luciano contributed in the fifth inning with an RBI double. She finished the day with two hits and two runs.
Northern Illinois closed the gap to three runs as Buffalo gave up a grand slam in the sixth inning. Senior third baseman Tori Pettine and junior infielder Nora McGuire gave Buffalo some valuable insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth as they each drove in a run to increase the Bulls' lead to five.
Senior pitcher Tori Speckman hurled a complete game - her eighth straight - and had seven strikeouts as she picked up her 20th victory of the season.
She now has 210 strikeouts on the year, a new single-season program record, which brings her total to 510 for her Buffalo career.
The Bulls continue their run in the tournament with a matchup against Central Michigan (33-20, 10-10 MAC) Thursday at 5 p.m.
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