Luck of the Irish
On the heels of St. Patrick's Day, the softball team needed to borrow some luck from the Irish to capture a win down in Myrtle Beach, S.C. at the Coastal Carolina Classic.
In the first of five games at the Classic, the Bulls (8-16) needed a little help from their opponent to squeak past Oakland (8-18), 6-5, in extra innings. Buffalo's luck ran out in the next game as the Bulls fell behind early to Coastal Carolina (12-13) and dropped the contest 9-1.
Buffalo and Oakland battled back and forth for six innings until Oakland put together a rally in the top of the sixth inning. Two Golden Grizzlies reached base and both advanced on a fielder's choice. Junior outfielder Alyssa Deacon stepped up and knocked an RBI double to left centerfield to break the tie and put Oakland ahead 5-4 with just two innings to play.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Bulls comeback began as freshman outfielder Taylor Franich turned on the jets to get Buffalo over the hump. Franich didn't let a strikeout lower her awareness; she noticed a passed ball and took first base. While on first, the freshman utilized her speed, stealing second and then taking third base on a wild pitch. A few pitches later, with two outs on the board, Franich scurried home on a passed ball to tie the game at five runs apiece.
In the first extra frame, the Bulls capitalized on sloppy pitching by Oakland to secure their eighth win of the season. Senior Jaime Sheffler led off the inning with a single and advanced to second base on a throwing error. Sheffler made her way home after pitches hit a series of Buffalo batters, ultimately giving Buffalo the 6-5 win.
Senior Sharon Barr threw a complete game in the win, striking out six while only giving up four earned runs. It wasn't Barr's best outing this season, but her eight strong innings got the job done for the Bulls.
The Classic continued, but game two ended without another Bulls victory.
Buffalo sent junior pitcher Kate Kraus to the mound in game two against host school Coastal Carolina to make the first Division 1-A start of her career. Kraus struggled in the debut outing and yielded six earned runs in just four innings of work.
The Chanticleers feasted off Buffalo pitching, accumulating 13 hits on their way to the 9-1 win. Coastal Carolina exemplified a balanced effort as each Chanticleer in the starting lineup accumulated at least one hit.
Franich went 1-for-3 in the game and recorded the Bulls' lone RBI. The rest of the Buffalo offense was stagnant all game, collecting only five hits in the loss.
Buffalo continued play at the Classic against Sacred Heart (8-8) and Houston Baptist (7-14). For coverage of these games, check Wednesday's edition of The Spectrum.