UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Bucknell softball hadn’t beaten Penn State since 2007, a stretch of 10 losses, but ended the slide with not one, but two wins in a doubleheader sweep Wednesday night at Beard Field.
Taylor Wolfgang’s two-run double in the top of the 10th inning gave Bucknell a 7-6 win in game one, while the Bison recorded a 13-1 blowout in five innings in game two.
Bucknell improved to 25-19-1 overall, including a 16-1-1 mark in its past 18 games, while Penn State dropped to 7-37. The Bison have three wins over Big Ten teams this season. The other came against Rutgers.
The Bison close the regular season with a huge three-game series at Boston University on Saturday and Sunday. Bucknell can clinch the regular season title and hosting rights for the four-team Patriot League Tournament with wins in two of the three games.
Game One – Bucknell 7, Penn State 6 (10 innings)
Anna Gimmestad and Meghan Kovac scored on a one-out double by Wolfgang in the top of the 10th inning to help Bucknell pull out the 7-6, extra-innings win over Penn State in game one. Gimmestad led off the rally with a single, while Kovac followed with a walk.
Bucknell trailed 2-0 after two innings before rallying for three runs in the third. The Bison scored the first two runs after three straight doubles by Ryanne Rokos, Marisa Alemany, and Gimmestad. The latter two drove in one run apiece and were followed two batters later with an RBI single by Lauren Hadley.
The Bison upped their lead to 5-2 with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning. Gimmestad led off with a walk, and Kovac followed with a two-run home run. It was her league-leading 13th homer of the season. That ranks fourth in Patriot League history and is just three shy of tying the single-season record of 16 hit by Colgate’s Melissa Rawson in 2003.
Penn State tied the game with one run in the fifth and two in the sixth. Both teams went scoreless in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings before Bucknell took the lead in the 10th. The international tiebreaker rule was not used.
Lauren Lichtenwalner pitched 7.1 innings of relief to pick up her fifth win of the season. She gave up four runs, three earned, on six hits. She didn’t walk or strike out a batter. Raeanne Geffert, who started and pitched the first two innings, went back in to get the final two outs and recorded the save. She struck out five batters.
Seven of Bucknell’s nine hits went for extra bases as the Bison had six doubles and one home run. Hadley went 2-for-5 with a single and a double. Lichtenwalner helped her own cause with a double.
Haley Vallejos went 3-for-4 to lead Penn State. The Lions had 11 hits, but just one was for extra bases.
Game Two – Bucknell 13, Penn State 1 (5 innings)
Bucknell scored 13 runs on 10 hits, four walks, and four errors while cruising to the five-inning win in the second game.
Taylor Langtry gave up just one run in three innings of relief while recording the win in the circle for Bucknell. Raeanne Geffert started and pitched two scoreless frames. She didn’t allow a hit, walked one, and struck out three.
The Bison added four more extra-base hits in the second game, led by Hadley, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a single. The junior is batting a league-best .382 on the season.
Paulina Gutkin went 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs, while Wolfgang had another double. Alemany, Gimmestad, Maddie Minneci, and Rokos all singled. Alemany has now reached base in 22 consecutive games.