FULLERTON, CALIF. - The University at Buffalo softball team opened the 2019 season with a pair of defeats at the Titan Classic on Friday. UB fell by the score of 11-0 in the opening game of the season against University of the Pacific before dropping a close 5-4 contest to the host Cal State Fullerton Titans in extra innings in the second game of the day.
Offense was at a premium early in game one as neither team found the scoresheet in the opening two and a half innings, but the Tigers would break the game open in the bottom of the third, scoring six runs on five hits, all with two outs, to take a 6-0 lead.
The Bulls would get their first baserunners of the games on back-to-back walks to start the bottom of the fourth but couldn't muster a run.
The Tigers would extend their lead in the fifth on a solo home run and would add four more runs in the top of the sixth. Buffalo recorded its first hit, a double by Alexis Matheney, in the bottom of the inning but the Bulls left her stranded to end the game.
In the second game of the day, Cal State Fullerton got on the board first with a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning off Bulls starter Lace Smith. After UB left the bases loaded in the top of the fourth, the Titans would add to their lead in the bottom of the inning as a dropped fly ball error by Ufuoma Ogagan allowed a run to score followed by an RBI single to give CSF a 3-0 lead.
But the Bulls would answer in a big way in the top of the fifth on a grand slam blast to left field off the bat of Catrell Robertson, the first UB hit of the game, to give Buffalo a 4-3 lead.
The Titans would threaten with runners on the corners in both the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings but Smith would escape all trouble with an assist from her defense that turned a 4-6-3 double play to escape the jam.
Alicia Peters would get things going in the top of the seventh with a leadoff double to center, followed by a Robertson single to left put runners on the corners, but three straight strikeouts left the runners stranded and that would prove costly as the Titans would tie the game in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single with two outs to force extra innings.
With the international tie breaker rule in effect, where a runner is placed on second base to start the inning, the Bulls failed to score in the top of the eighth before the Titans walked off on an RBI single in the bottom of the inning to win the game 5-4.
Robertson finished the game going 2-for-3 with four RBI and a run scored, while Smith pitched to every batter, allowing two earned runs on nine hits while striking out three batters in 7.1 innings of work.
The Bulls will return to action Saturday morning at 1 pm EST as they take on Louisville before facing Idaho State at 3:30 pm.