Evans Pitches One-hitter as Bulls Take One of Three.
The UB softball team came back after their last unpromising series with strong play over the weekend, taking one out of three games against the Kent State Golden Flashes.
Where before the pitching had been shaky, this weekend UB pitchers gave up only a combined four earned runs in three games, including a one-hitter pitched by freshman Stacey Evans.
The Bulls won the first game of Saturday's doubleheader 5-0, before dropping the evening game by a slim 1-0 margin. On Sunday, Buffalo again lost 6-4 in another closely contested game. UB's record stands at 5-20 (2-13 in the MAC), while Kent State moves to 16-21 (6-10 in the MAC).
Game 1: Evans' Arm Paces UB
In the series opener, the Bulls appeared like they were working on all cylinders. Near-flawless pitching, solid defense and some good swings combined to give Buffalo their first victory in three games. Evans threw a practically flawless game, giving up just one hit in the fifth inning, striking out nine and walking four batters.
"[Catcher] Julie [Hibner] called a lot of good pitches, and I was hitting my spots," said Evans on her first career one-hitter. "The defense was obviously behind me and the bats came alive at the end there too, so that helped me out a lot."
Evans indeed got help from the offense on an Alison Round three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth, scoring in Melissa Pace and Marce Ross.
Game 2: Pitching Duel Favors Flashes
Saturday's evening game was a nail-biting pitching battle, with both Heather Robbins of Buffalo and Kate Leary of Kent state throwing efficiently and meticulously.
Robbins fought her way out of two separate bases-loaded situations, including a one-out scenario in the second inning.
Kent State's Leary pitched a shutout as well, holding the Bulls to just 3 hits in 22 at bats. She struck out 11 and tallied only two walks. Robbins gave up no earned runs, and only seven hits in 27 at bats.
With the win, Leary's record improves to 8-6, while Robbins took the loss, dropping her record to 3-6.
Game 3: Bulls Fall Short of Golden
Sunday's game was another close pitching battle until the fifth inning, when Kent State scored three runs off a two-RBI double by Lea Dorto and another RBI single by Megan McGauhey.
The Flashes built on their lead in the sixth on a leadoff homer by Renee Lynch, and an unearned run by Abby Molnar, who avoided being picked off at third.
Buffalo answered back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single to center field by Hibner, who scored in Ross. Hibner later scored on a throwing error.
Le Ann Fonner of Kent State added another run in the top of the seventh with an RBI sacrifice bunt to put the Flashes up 6-2.
The Bulls rallied in the bottom of the seventh however, when Breanne Nasti hit a two-run, line drive homer that effortlessly cleared the fence and landed somewhere near the ticket window of the football stadium.
Nasti's homer brought the score to 6-4, but the Bulls' rally fell short as Ann Marie Magur flied out to center, ending the game.
Leary pitched again for Kent State, taking the win, while Evans pitched six innings for Buffalo in the losing effort.
The Bulls play today at home in a doubleheader against local rival Niagara, starting at 3pm.