University at Buffalo pitching ace Tori Speckman was roughed up a little, giving up 12 hits to Northern Illinois, but she and the Bulls held on for an 11-6 triumph over the Huskies in their first-round game of the Mid-American Conference tournament Wednesday night at Firestone Stadium in Akron, Ohio. UB will face the winner of the Akron-Central Michigan game at 5 p.m. today.
Most of the damage against Speckman came in the sixth inning when Emi Naegele hit a bases-loaded home run to bring NIU to within 9-6. UB, however, added two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth and Speckman got through the seventh, allowing just a one-out single.
UB took a 4-0 lead in the first when Heather Ryder and Karly Nevez came through with RBI singles and two runs scored on a throwing error. UB scored in every inning after that. Ryder had three hits and three RBIs, and Hayley Barrow had a pair of hits. Naegele went 4 for 4 and drove in five of the Northern runs against Speckman, who struck out 13.
Earlier, Ball State advanced with a 7-4 win over Miami and Ohio U. moved on with a 2-1 victory over Kent State.