Game One: Bucknell 9, Siena 1
Game Two: South Dakota 10, Bucknell 1
AUBURNDALE, Fla. – With just one day of action left in the 2014 Rebel Spring Games, the Bucknell softball team improved to 3-5 in the tournament with a split result on Thursday. Action at the Auburndale Softball Complex began with a 9-1 win over Siena, and concluded in the evening with a 10-1 defeat by South Dakota, giving the Bison an overall record of 5-12.
The Bison jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the Saints in the first inning, scoring twice on back-to-back singles by junior Kristen Zahn, who hit 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI, and senior Mallory Lyons. A quiet second inning, during which sophomore pitcher Dana Nielsen struck out the side, led way to an explosive third for the squad, with two hits and four runs extending its advantage to 6-0. Freshman Jacee Almond scored the first tally of the inning when sophomore Mariah Midyette walked, and junior Cydnee Sanders added one more, reaching home on a wild pitch. A two-RBI single by junior Erin Cox wrapped up the scoring for the Bison.
Siena got one back in the bottom of the fifth, scoring on a single, but Bucknell clinched the win with a three-run sixth inning. Zahn registered a two-RBI single to boost the Bison’s lead to 8-1, and Sanders scored on an error by the shortstop to give the game a final score of 9-1.
Nielsen earned her third win of the season against the Saints, pitching 5.0 innings and allowing two hits and one earned run. The sophomore also struck out six and walked none. Classmate Cindy Cherness pitched one inning of relief, allowing one hit and striking out one batter.
South Dakota proved to be a challenge for Bucknell for the second straight day, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning on back-to-back doubles. The Coyotes extended their lead to 3-0 in the second stanza, and another tally in the top of the third gave them a four-run advantage.
The Bison got one back in the bottom of the third when freshman Christina Martinez scored on a sacrifice fly by Almond, and freshman pitcher Lara Bean held the Coyotes scoreless through the top of the sixth inning, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a strong South Dakota offense. The Coyotes tacked on three runs in the sixth and four in the seventh, clinching the 10-1 win over the Bison.
Sanders, Cox and Martinez all recorded a single hit in the contest, while Midyette went 2-for-3. The pitching duties were split between Nielsen, Bean and Cherness, with Bean being awarded the loss, dropping her overall record to 2-3. Nielsen started, allowing two earned runs and three hits in one inning, and Bean pitched 4.0 innings, giving up three hits and two earned runs, while walking five and striking out two. Cherness handled the closing duties for the second time that day, allowing six hits and five earned runs while striking out three.
Bucknell will conclude the Rebel Spring Games on Friday, taking on St. Peter’s at 9:00 a.m. and Siena at 11:00 a.m. Both games will be played at the DiamondPlex.