Softball Sweeps Past the Bonnies
Former President Bill Clinton . was not at the UB softball game Wednesday afternoon. Had he been there, though, he would have witnessed a fine day of softball as UB swept St. Bonaventure University in a doubleheader, their first of the season.
The Bulls took the first game 5-4 in a come-from-behind effort, and won handily in the evening game 6-1. With the victories, UB's record improves to 4-15 overall (1-8 MAC). The Bonnies' record falls to 5-9 in their conference.
Things didn't look so good for the Bulls in the beginning of this game. The first batter up, Kim Dodson, facing Bulls pitcher Stacey Evans took two quick strikes to fall behind in the count but battled her way back to a full count. On the very next pitch she slammed the ball out of the park to put St. Boneventure up.
The Bonnies did some more damage in the third as Amanda Davey and Laurie Stone drove in three runs off of two hits and two walks to give them a 4-0 lead.
That provided the wake-up call Buffalo needed. The bottom of the inning brought the heart of UB's order to the plate. Marce Ross led off with a single to left and stole second base. The next batter, Alison Round, was hit by a pitch, which set up an RBI double for Jessica Kensy.
The Bulls found a little luck on their side as well when a harmless Ann Marie Magur pop-up got lost in the Buffalo sunshine. The ball managed to elude both the first and second basemen's gloves to score two more runs for the Bulls.
Buffalo trailed 4-3 until the fifth inning, when Kensy and Magur struck again, driving in two runs, along with an Alison Round double and Ross singling to put the Bulls up 5-4. In the inning, Emily Hart, who gave up the final run, replaced losing pitcher Kristen Scheffold for St. Bonventure. Bulls pitcher Stacey Evans went on to pitch the rest of the game, and earn the win for UB.
"I think I can say, offensively and defensively, [the team] really doesn't think they can lose," UB Head Coach Marie Curran said of the squad's comeback. "We've come back and gotten so close against a lot of people, I think they really believe we can. I can walk up to the huddle after we've given up three runs and say 'It's ok, we're gonna get it back.' It makes a big difference."
The evening game took a while to get going, as both teams were solid through the first four innings of play, giving up nothing. But in the fifth, as it did in the first game, the momentum swung in favor of the Bulls.
Melissa Pace, Ross and Kensy all reached base on singles, but Pace was thrown out at third by a fielder's choice on Kensy's hit. With two women on base, MAC Player of the Week Brianne Nasti stepped up to the plate and delivered an RBI single, bringing in Ross to give the Bulls the lead.
Magur's three-run homer proved to be the clincher for the Bulls, as she caught Hart's pitch high and inside and smacked it out of the park.
"It was up and in. They'd been pitching inside to me all day and I just hadn't been getting my hands inside the ball enough," said Magur on her first career home run.
"I haven't been hitting the way I've wanted to, but as soon as the pitch hit the bat, I knew it was gone." Magur's three-run shot put the Bulls up 4-0 with two innings left to play.
Buffalo added a couple insurance runs in the sixth inning on RBI singles by Pace and Round to give the Bulls a 6-0 lead.
The Bonnies notched a run in the final inning of play on an RBI ground out by Kristina Huntley, to spoil Heather Robbin's shut out bid. The Bulls quickly got the final out and took the second game 6-1.
"I think [the wins] show how much our team has improved," said Magur. "All the parts of our game are coming together. We're scoring runs, we're playing defense, our pitching is coming around. It was a good team effort."
The Bulls played on Tuesday as well, in what was supposed to be a doubleheader at Colgate. The second game was postponed due to poor weather, but the Bulls fell to Colgate 10-9 in an offensive slugfest in the first.
Buffalo had actually gotten off to a quick lead in the first inning, scoring three runs off of a Nasti hit and two Magur and Julie Hibner RBIs. Colgate, however, answered back with five runs in the bottom of the inning - including a Natalie Rawson grand slam.
Colgate was able to stay ahead using the long ball, as they homered in the fourth and sixth innings. Buffalo rallied in the seventh inning but fell one run shy of a tie.
Game notables for Buffalo were, Round, Ross and Kensy who had two runs apiece. Andrea Sage took the loss for Buffalo; Colgate's Prong took the win.
"Although we lost, our hitters were hitting great," said Curran about Tuesday's performance. "That really helped us for [St Boneventure]."
The Bulls next game will be on April 20, when they will play at Northern Illinois.
"It's tough because we have a big opponent right away. Northern Illinois is number one in their division," said Curran. "But we're very excited about the trip."