Tori Speckman tosses no-hitter as Buffalo wins MAC opener
ATHENS, Ohio -- Senior Tori Speckman threw just the third no-hitter in school history as the Bulls defeated Ohio, 4-0, on Saturday afternoon. For the Bulls, this was their first conference game after having the first six cancelled due to weather. Buffalo improved to 16-14 overall on the year, tying their win total from all of last year.
Speckman kept the Ohio hitters out of the hit column all afternoon as she walked just three batters in seven innings. She fanned 10 hitters to pick up her 11th victory of the year. Offensively, the Bulls took advantage of some Ohio errors as they scored two runs in the second and two more in the sixth.
The Bulls loaded the bases in the second inning and with one out Ashton Earnhardt hit a grounder to short. The Bobcats threw home, but an error by the Ohio catcher scored two runs, including freshman Savanna Norcio, who was playing in her first game of the season after missing the first 29 due to injury.
UB held on to the two run lead into the sixth when Ohio errors led to two more runs. Hayley Barrow was on first base with one out when Norcio singled into right field. However, a fielding error by the right fielder allowed Barrow to score all the way from first and put Norcio at third. Meghan McKeown came in as a pinch runner as remained at third with two outs. Karly Nevez then hit a grounder that was unable to be fielded by the Ohio second baseman, scoring UB's fourth run.
Speckman pitched just the third no-hitter in school history and the first since 2010. The other no-hitters belong to Stacey Evans vs. Toledo (5/8/04) and Terese Diaz vs. St. Bonaventure (4/14/10). The Bulls recorded four hits as a team as Sammi Gallardo and Ryleigh Fitzgerald joined Norcio and Nevez with hits.
"It's great to finally play seven complete innings of error free defense and play 21 perfect outs," said head coach Trena Peel. "I'm proud of Tori Pettine's defensive contributions. She made some game-changing plays at third base. Of course I can't say enough about Tori Speckman this afternoon. She was off her game a little and still managed to throw a no-no! Great pitchers find a way to make it work on their bad days."