WMU Softball Comes Up Short Against Buffalo, 5-4
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Despite jumping out to a 3-0 lead, WMU was held scoreless the final four innings in its 5-4 loss to Buffalo on Sunday, settling for a series split against the Bulls.
Trailing 5-4 in the seventh, Myranda McDonald led off the inning by getting hit by the second pitch she saw. Jenn Tschetter reached on a throwing error, which allowed pinch runner Jenny Rohn to advance to third base. Allie Carlson sent a shot to left field for the first out of the inning. Rohn tagged on the play and headed for home plate. The relay from left field forced Alexis Curtiss to have to jump but she was able to get the glove down and apply the tag a split second ahead of Rohn's hand swiping the front corner of home plate.
WMU jumped ahead by three runs with a run in the first and two more in the second. McDonald, in the line as the designated player, singled through the left side with the bases loaded. Gracie Barsad, who hit .417 this week, scored after reaching on a one-out walk. McDonald was 2-for-2 on the day.
The Broncos had the opportunity to tack a couple more runs on in the first, stranding the bases loaded on a pop out to the catcher. WMU left 11 runners on base against Buffalo on Sunday, batting .222 with runners on base.
Courtney Rousseau provided the offense in the second inning, hitting a double to the base of the left field wall to score Meredith Whitney and Barstad who led off the second with back-to-back singles to center field. Rousseau tried to stretch the double into her first triple of the season but she was thrown out from left field.
Buffalo climbed to within a run with a pair of scores in the top of the third. A walk and a single to lead off the inning set the table for Holly Luciano's seventh double of the season, clearing the bases.
Tara Buchanan added to WMU's lead with her first swing of the bat to lead off the bottom of the third inning, smashing her seventh home run of the season, 15th of her career, over the left field wall to give her team a 4-2 lead.
Buffalo made a pitching changed back to Tori Speckman and she shut down the Bronco offense, allowing just one hit in 5.0 innings of work. WMU made a pitching change as well after its defense allowed three runs to score on three hits in the fifth. Jessica Griffin collected an infield single to third base when Barstad had to double clutch to get a grip on the ball. That was followed by a pair of walks given up by starting pitcher Becca Shemberger.
Shemberger then gave up a single down the left field line, which scored two and a final RBI single by Sammi Gallardo capped thes scoring for the Bulls and the game.
Whitney worked the sixth and seventh innings, allowing just one base runner on a Griffin double in the sixth.
Western Michigan steps out of conference for a doubleheader against IPFW on April 17 before heading to Akron (April 20) and Ohio (April 21-22) next weekend.