Bulls Collect First Win Under Ruechel, Split Friday Doubleheader at Red & Black Showcase

Alexis Matheney

ATHENS, GA - The University at Buffalo softball team collected their first win under head coach Mike Ruechel on Friday morning against Nebraska-Omaha at the Red & Black Showcase. UB earned the 4-1 victory over the Mavericks before falling to Winthrop in the second game of the day, 3-2.

In the first game of the day, the Bulls were able to strike first in the bottom of the first, as Alexis Matheney blasted a solo shot to center, her first career home run, to put UB up 1-0. Later, with runners on second and third, Catrell Robertson smacked an RBI single to left to make it 2-0. UB would add a third run on some heads up base running by Jenelle Martinez, who stole home to make it 3-0.

Omaha got on the board in the top of the fifth with an RBI groundout to make it 3-1. The Bulls would answer with an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on a solo home run by Ufuoma Ogagan, her first of the year, to make it 4-1 and that would be all Buffalo would need to secure the victory.

Power pitched a gem, earning her first victory of the season, allowing just one run on six hits while striking out two in a complete game effort. Matheney finished two-for-three with a home run, an RBI and a run scored while Robertson went 1-for-3 with an RBI.

In the second game of the day, Winthrop would score first on a solo home run but the Bulls would answer in the top of the second as Hannah Bardeen picked up her first career hit, a two-RBI double to center, to give UB a 2-1 lead.

The Bulls loaded the bases in the top of the third but left the runners stranded. The Eagles answered with a bases loaded situation of their own in the bottom of the inning and managed a sac fly RBI to tie the game 2-2.

Buffalo had another runner in scoring position in the top of the seventh but the Bulls couldn't take advantage and that would prove to be costly as the Eagles smacked an RBI double in the bottom of the inning to walk off with a 3-2 win.

Lace Smith started in the circle, giving up one earned run on five hits in three and two thirds innings of work before being replaced by Power, who gave up one run on three hits in three innings of relief. Bardeen finished the game going 2-of-3 at the plate with two RBI. Anna Aguon, Martinez and Robertson also recorded hits for Buffalo.

The Bulls will wrap up the Red & Black Showcase tomorrow with games against Winthrop at 9 a.m. and Omaha at 4:30 p.m.