UB softball swept in Friday doubleheader
Bulls struggle in all areas during must-win games
UB softball lost both games in a doubleheader against the Bowling Green Falcons on Friday. The Bulls were unable to find success at the mound and the plate as Bowling Green outscored UB a combined 18-4 in the two games at Nan Harvey Field. The Bulls have lost five of their last six games as the race to compete in the Mid-American Conference Tournament gets tighter.
“If I’m looking at the two games, I’m going to look at it as Bowling Green is going to be … playing for a spot against us to play in the conference tournament,” said Bulls head coach Mike Roberts after Friday’s games. “If we think we deserve to get to the conference tournament, then these are the teams we’re going to have to beat.”
The Bulls (14-22, 6-8 MAC) lost game one 7-3. In the top of the first, junior pitcher Ally Power got the leadoff hitter out before giving up a solo home run to put Bowling Green (21-19, 4-9 MAC) up 1-0. The Bulls responded in the bottom of the inning, picking up two runs off hits by sophomore second baseman Jenelle Martinez and senior third baseman Danielle Lallos.
The Bulls held the lead until the Falcons picked up runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to put the team down 7-2.
“They kind of got out of hand,” Roberts said. “We struggled on the mound a little bit once we got later in the game. We had chances to score and come up with a big hit, but we couldn’t stop them from scoring.”
Power lasted 5.2 innings, surrendering nine hits and four earned runs, including two home runs. She limped off the field.
“She’s got a tight hip flexor. I’m not really sure,” Roberts said. “She’s not 100 percent, but she’s trying to work through something right now. We’ll be playing it by ear with her. Obviously, if she can’t pitch we need Lace [Smith] and Marlee [Shaffer] to step up, take the ball on the mound and do a good job for us.”
Game two was worse for the Bulls. Junior pitcher Smith started and Bowling Green took advantage. Smith got the leadoff hitter out and then surrendered four straight hits, including back to back homeruns to give the Falcons a 4-0 lead.
The Bulls faced a left handed pitcher and were unable to adapt. Junior pitcher Brooke Parker stifled the Bulls’ offense, allowing only one run on four hits.
“She was working the outside corner. They have habits too,” Roberts said. “They have a pitch they like, a location they like to work and they’ll kind of pound that location. I thought she was working the outside half of the plate. They had trouble hitting it today. Obviously, we knew what was coming today; we just couldn’t hit it.”
The Bulls could not string together hits, leaving nine baserunners on for the game. In the third inning, the Bulls had two baserunners on without an out. Senior designated player Catrell Robertson doubled to drive in senior center fielder Leandra Jew. It was their only run of the game as the team lost 11-1 in five innings.
“Can I put my finger on one thing? There’s not one thing,” Roberts said. “We just have to pitch better, hit better and play better on defense.”
In his first year as head coach, Roberts said the goal is to compete in the conference tournament since the seniors on the team never have. The team had early success, with 14 wins compared to the nine last season.
A final game against Bowling Green on Saturday morning was cancelled due to weather.
The Bulls’ next matchup is a home doubleheader against the Canisius Griffins (4-25, 1-3 MAAC) on April 17 with games beginning at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Nathaniel Mendelson is a staff writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.