Game One: Coppin State 3, Bucknell 2 (8 innings)
Game Two: Bucknell 6, Coppin State 1
LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Bucknell softball team battled through a doubleheader with Coppin State on Saturday afternoon, dropping a 3-2 decision in eight innings in the day’s first contest before cruising to a 6-1 win in the second outing on Becker Field. The Bison, who currently hold a 7-5 record in Patriot League play, improved to 17-21 overall with the split decision, while the Eagles now sit at 10-21 overall.
Junior Cydnee Sanders had impressive offensive outings in both games, hitting 5-for-8 and scoring once, while the second contest of the day saw the whole team hit well, with eight of Bucknell’s 11 batters recording at least one hit. As a squad, the Bison tallied seven hits in the first game and 11 in the second, out-hitting the Eagles twice.
Bucknell took a 1-0 lead early on in the first game of the day, as freshman Chaylen Andolino, who reached on a single to right center, scored when classmate Jacee Almond flied out to right field. Coppin State advanced runners to second and third in the top of the next stanza, but the Bison defense remained in control, preserving their slim advantage.
The next three innings were quiet on both sides, but the Eagles struck in the top of the seventh, scoring twice on an RBI-double to take a 2-1 lead over the Bison. The home team responded with some clutch hitting in the bottom of the stanza however, beginning when Almond singled to left field. Senior Mallory Lyons was hit by a pitch, sending Almond to second, and a one-base hit to left field by Sanders advanced the rookie to third. Junior Kristen Zahnbrought in the tying run on a sacrifice fly to right field, sending the game into extra innings.
Coppin State led off with a double in the top of the eighth and brought in a run on an error to take a one-run lead however, and Bucknell was unable to answer in the bottom of the inning, dropping the first game of the doubleheader.
Sophomore Dana Nielsen received the loss, pitching 7.1 innings during which she allowed just four hits and two earned runs. Nielsen, who is 6-11 on the season and leads the Patriot League in strikeouts, also recorded an impressive 10 strikeouts and walked two batters.
Bucknell bounced right back from the loss however, recording six runs on six hits in the bottom of the first inning to take a large lead that Coppin State would never overcome. Sophomore Cheyanna Young drove in the first run of the game, scoring Andolino on a single to right center. Lyons followed that up with a single of her own, bringing in Sanders, who had reached earlier on single to third base. Freshman Carolyn Wan hit a two-RBI single to bring the tally up to four before scoring herself, and senior Courtney Conover capped off the inning with an RBI-single to center field.
The Bison continued to threaten offensively throughout the remainder of the contest, but the score remained 6-0 in favor of the home team through the top of the seventh stanza. Sophomore Amanda Fazio, who made her first pitching start since Bucknell’s spring break trip, held Coppin State to just one hit through six innings, but the Eagles connected twice in the seventh and scored once on a single to center field. Bucknell halted the rally quickly however, taking a 6-1 win in the second game of the day.
Fazio was stellar in the win, earning her first victory of the season and pitching a complete seven innings. The sophomore allowed just three hits and one earned run while striking out three batters and walking none.
“I was very impressed with Amanda’s complete game performance,” commented head coach Bonnie Skrenta at the end of the day. “She is coming off of a couple-week hiatus, so a three-hitter is great. The team really flipped the momentum after the loss and got things done in the first inning of the second game. I’d like to see more scoring throughout, but a 6-1 win is a good way to end the day.”
Bucknell will play another non-conference doubleheader on Tuesday, traveling to St. Francis (Pa.) for a 3 p.m. twin-bill, and then will return to Patriot League play next weekend with a three-game series at Colgate.