KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Bucknell softball team closed the Rebel Spring Games with a doubleheader split with Albany on Saturday, moving its record to 14-10 as it nears conference play. The Bison lost the first game 6-3, but ended the event on a high note with a 5-4 win in the second game.

Mariah Midyette had three hits over the two games. As a team, Bucknell tallied nine hits on the day. The split left Albany with a 13-8 record.

Bucknell will play both its league opener and home opener when it hosts Holy Cross for a three-game series at Becker Field on March 26-27. The Bison were picked to finish second in the conference, while the Crusaders are 4-13 and were picked to finish sixth in the preseason poll.

The Bison went 6-4 at the Rebel Spring Games, registering two wins over Rider and one against Florida A&M, Drexel, Indiana State and Albany. They suffered two losses to Albany and one to Rider and Indiana State.

Game 1 – Albany 6, Bucknell 3
Midyette had two hits, including a leadoff triple in the seventh inning, but Bucknell only had four as a team in the loss to Albany.

Jacee Almond and Lauren Hadley had singles to round out the hits for the Bison. Chaylen Andolino had the team’s lone RBI, driving in Midyette after her seventh-inning triple.

Albany broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the top of the fifth inning and added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh. The Great Danes were led by Maggie Cocks with two doubles and three RBIs.

Game 2 – Bucknell 5, Albany 4
Bucknell trailed 3-0 before scoring all five of its runs in the top of the sixth inning. Dana Nielsen improved to 6-2 in the circle, giving up one run on five hits and no walks, while striking out two in 2.2 innings of relief.

Lauren Hadley had the big hit for the Bison, clearing the bases with a three-run triple. The bases were loaded with no outs thanks to a leadoff double by Meghan Kovac, a hit-by-pitch from Jacklyn Tyburk and a bunt single by Anna Gimmestad.

Bucknell added two more runs in the sixth inning, which proved to be valuable in the one-run win. Midyette drove in one run with a single to right field, and Amanda Fazio plated Christina Martinez with an RBI groundout.

Albany had the game-tying run on first base with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but Martinez secured the win by throwing out the runner attempting to steal second.

Cindy Cherness started for Bucknell and gave up one run in one inning of work. Lara Bean pitched 3.1 innings of middle relief and allowed two runs.