It didn't take long for UB Softball's five-game winning streak to go up in smoke. That streak, recently extended by a 3-0 start to conference play, ended Tuesday with a 4-1 loss to crosstown rival Canisius, who again beat the Bulls this afternoon, this time in walk-off fashion.
Buffalo had gone 1-1 against the Golden Griffins last season, but won't face Canisius again this season and will have to wait until 2017 for their next win in the series.
Yesterday's 4-1 loss saw UB notch only four hits while racking up four errors, as well. Lace Smith got the start and allowed three first-inning runs, plenty for Canisius pitcher Erika Mackie, who didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning and kept Buffalo off third base until the seventh inning, when the Bulls scored their lone run.
Smith was pulled after two innings and yielded to fellow freshman Ally Power, who struck out five and allowed only a single run over the final five innings, but the UB offense simply couldn't get anything going. Ashton Earnhardt, 1-2 with a walk, was the only Bull to reach base twice.
Today saw the offense bust out, but UB turned a 6-4 lead entering the bottom of the seventh into a loss, surrendering a late rally as Power couldn't match her Tuesday performance in relief of Charlotte Miller.
Buffalo's offense was hyperefficient on the day, scoring their six runs on just seven hits and nine total baserunners. Leandra Jew and Catrell Robertson, two of UB's four Californians on the roster, each had two hits and a pair of runs in building the late lead, and both Robertson and freshman standout Katie Weimer homered on the day.
But Canisius got a home run of their own in the seventh and then put two more runners on before ending the game with a walk-off double, the Golden Griffins' 13th hit and 19th baserunner of the game. The admirable showing from the offense was undone, simply, by a pitching and defensive performance that allowed nearly three baserunners an inning even while committing no errors.
UB gets back to MAC play this weekend with a three-game set at Western Michigan.