LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell softball team came up short in a Patriot League series for the first time this season, dropping the rubber game with Army West Point 5-1 on Monday afternoon at Becker Field. The teams had split a doubleheader the previous day, including a nine-inning win by the Bison in the opener.

Despite the loss, Bucknell is still in good shape at the midway point of its conference schedule. Thanks to series wins over Holy Cross and Lafayette, the Bison are 6-3 in league play while also carrying an impressive overall record of 21-14. Army West Point sits one loss better than Bucknell in the standings at 24-14 overall and 6-2 in league play.

Bucknell out-hit Army West Point 9-7 but left eight runners on base. The Bison stranded at least one runner in scoring position in five innings.

Despite the struggles with runners in scoring position, the Bison threatened a comeback in the final inning. Trailing 5-1, they loaded the bases thanks to three straight singles by Chaylen Andolino, Ryanne Rokos and Amanda Fazio. The rally was slowed down following some controversy on the next at-bat by Carolyn Wan. A pitch appeared to hit the Bison batter in the right arm, but as she made her way to first she was called back by the umpire after he declared the ball had hit the bat.

Army West Point relief pitcher Renee Poirier, who entered the game to face Wan, got the out after it was determined Wan wasn’t hit by the pitch. She got the next batter to ground into a game-ending double play to record her eighth save of the season.

Bucknell trailed 1-0 before tying the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Lauren Hadley hustled for a leadoff double and scored on a one-out single by Christina Martinez. Paulina Gutkin pinch-ran for Martinez, but was stranded at third base.

The Black Knights responded with a run in the top of the fifth inning. They furthered the gap with three runs in the top of the seventh.

Fazio and Rokos combined for four of Bucknell’s nine hits. Jacee Almond had a pinch-hit double in the sixth inning, and Anna Gimmestad singled once.

Bucknell returns to action on Wednesday when it travels to Penn State for a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m.