LORETTO, Pa. – Junior Christina Martinez and sophomore Meghan Kovac each homered, and three pitchers combined to hold a high-scoring Saint Francis lineup in check to lead Bucknell to a 9-3 win in the first game of a non-conference softball doubleheader on Tuesday. The Red Flash earned a split with an 8-1 win in the second game.
Bucknell, which won the season series with Saint Francis 2-1, returns home with a 23-19 record. Saint Francis is 25-18, including a 5-2 record against the Patriot League. The Red Flash went 4-0 in games against Army West Point and Lafayette.
The Bison concluded the non-conference portion of their schedule with a record of 16-14. They will continue Patriot League play with a three-game series at Colgate on Saturday and Sunday.
Game 1 – Bucknell 9, Saint Francis 3
Martinez hit her first home run of the season, and Kovac blasted her fifth of the year to lead Bucknell to a 9-3 win in the first game. It was the Bison’s sixth straight win in the series with the Red Flash.
Martinez drove an 0-1 pitch over the center field fence for a two-run shot in the top of the fourth inning to give Bucknell a 4-0 lead.
Saint Francis scored once in the fourth inning and twice in the fifth to cut Bucknell’s lead to two, 5-3, but Kovac led off the top of the seventh inning with a solo shot to left-center field. That was the start of a four-run inning for the Bison, which included RBI singles by Chaylen Andolino, Ryanne Rokos and Amanda Fazio.
Kovac had three hits in the game, adding a single and double to her home run, and drove in a pair of runs. Fazio and Rokos also had three hits, all of which were singles. After tallying 11 hits in a three-game series at Boston University last weekend, the Bison erupted for 17 in Tuesday’s win. Lauren Hadley had a single and double, while Jacee Almond and Martinez also had two hits apiece.
Saint Francis entered the day with a school-record 267 runs on the season, which led the Northeast Conference by more than 100 runs. The Red Flash average 6.5 per game, but were held to just three runs on seven hits by Dana Nielsen, Lara Bean and Fazio.
Nielsen started the game and pitched four innings. She gave up one run on four hits and one walk while striking out four. Bean struck out two and gave up two runs in one inning of work before giving way to Fazio, who recorded her first save of the season with two scoreless innings. Fazio gave up one hit, didn’t walk a batter and struck out three.
Game 2 – Saint Francis 8, Bucknell 1
Saint Francis ended a six-game losing streak to Bucknell with an 8-1 win in the second game. Jordan Seneca, who homered in the first game, added another for her 13th of the season.
Seneca’s home run was a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth inning that gave Saint Francis an 8-1 lead. It was one of just six hits for the Red Flash, who took advantage of two Bucknell errors and four walks.
Ketarah DeVries pitched all seven innings for Saint Francis to improve to 9-3 on the season. She struck out eight and walked three batters.
Rokos had three of Bucknell’s five hits, giving her six on the day. Almond and Hadley had one single apiece.