Late runs were the name of the game today for UB Softball, who rode a couple of homers and a ninth-inning rally to an 8-7 win over Wright State and nearly upset the SEC's Arkansas Razorbacks in a 15-14 (without extras!) barnburner. UB had scored three runs in the top of the seventh against Arkansas, the tournament hosts, before losing on a walk-off home run.
Against Wright State Danielle Lallos and Courtney Gilbert each homered for the Bulls while Brieanna Baker pitched into the fifth. Gilbert's shot, in the sixth, tied the game after UB had lost a 2-0 lead, while Charlotte Miller relieved Baker and ushered the game into extra innings. It was in the ninth that Buffalo took control, loading the bases with one out and scoring three on a Lauren Gambone double. After Miller got into trouble in the bottom of the frame, Lace Smith stepped in and closed out the win.
If Wright State was an entertaining, high-scoring game, Arkansas was an absolute slugfest. The two teams combined for 29 runs on 31 hits - Buffalo actually had more runs than hits thanks to four Razorbacks errors - and there were five separate frames in which one team scored three or more runs, including an eight spot from Buffalo in the fourth.
Once again, the game came to the final inning. Heading into the seventh, UB was down 13-11, but Buffalo got two runs off an infield error and three total to actually take the lead, though they left the bases loaded to end the inning.
Arkansas didn't waste much time with their chance, however, getting a leadoff double and a home run in the first two at-bats off Ally Power, who had gotten the start.
As you'd expect from 23 runs over two games, it was a nice day for offensive stats. Lallos and Ashton Earnhardt combined for nine runs from the top two spots in the order, freshman Katie Weimer drove in six, including a grand slam the big fourth inning against Arkansas, and Leandra Jew had five hits on the day. While the pitching numbers aren't particularly impressive, UB did well to avoid errors - just a single on the day compared to eight from their opponents - and if the offense is going to look more like 2014 than 2015, that's a very good thing.
The Bulls continue at the Woo Pig tomorrow with another game against Wright State and an afternoon matchup against Northern Iowa.