Updated Sun, Apr 6, 2014 12:09 pm
Tori Speckman pitched a no-hitter and opened Mid-American Conference play for Buffalo with a bang as the Bulls spoiled the Bobcats MAC home opener with a 4-0 loss on Saturday.
A sizeable Mom’s Weekend crowd brought plenty of energy to Ohio Softball Field, but it couldn't provide Ohio (18-15, 3-2) with a hit. Speckman controlled the game as soon as she took the mound and the Bulls offense was aided by the errors Ohio conceded.
“Sloppy right?” coach Jodi Hermanek said in reference to the errors. “It was sloppy for us and I need to see our team continue with the energy and the control. I think that’s one of the things that we didn't bring today.”
It all started in the top of the second after Savannah Jo Dorsey (13-11) hit the first batter. The next Bulls’ hitter bunted to record Buffalo’s (16-14, 1-0) first hit of the game and position runners at first and second. A single loaded the bases with no outs.
Dorsey struck out the next batter to bring some relief to the crowd, but it didn’t last long as another single brought a run home. A catching error by Madison Claytor at home plate brought in the second run of the game.
A double play ended the rough inning and the Bulls were quiet until the top of the sixth. A strong hit to right field towards Adrienne Gebele bounced off the ground and out of her glove, bringing in run number three. Then, a routine play at first broke down as Alexia Cortez dropped the ball at first that would’ve ended the inning. The error allowed the final run to be scored.
In the bottom of the second, Gebele drew a walk and was the first Bobcat to reach base. She took second after Speckman threw a wild pitch, and advanced to third as the Buffalo catcher attempted to get recover the ball. Her efforts went unrewarded as the next batter was called out before the right fielder could touch her cleats to home plate.
Late in the top of the seventh Amanda Dalton called for a fly ball that arched toward second base. With her eyes focused on the ball, she tripped on the bag, but quickly rolled and recovered to make a spectacular catch from the ground.
Few things went right for the Bobcats on Saturday, and they will need to improve on both sides of the ball to give Buffalo its first MAC loss on Sunday, Hermanerk said.
“We have a complete adjustment to do,” she said. “Today we just really over thought the process of hitting. And hats off to [Speckman] and credit to her on the other side of the field, because she did her job against a great offensive unit. We just have to have a really fast short-term memory and continue to play with attack tomorrow.”
Ohio will get a second chance to get its first hit against Buffalo when it takes on the Bulls Sunday at 1 p.m. at Ohio Softball Field.