Game One: Colgate 6, Bucknell 5 (nine innings)
Game Two: Bucknell 12, Colgate 3 (six innings)
HAMILTON, N.Y. – The Bucknell softball team returned to Patriot League play after almost a two-week hiatus on Saturday afternoon, splitting a doubleheader with Colgate on the Eaton Street Field. The Raiders took a 6-5 win in nine innings in the day’s first game, but the Bison bounced back nicely, playing to a 12-3 win in the six-inning second contest. Bucknell now sits at 19-22 on the season and holds an 8-6 mark in conference action, while Colgate is 11-28 overall and 3-11 in the Patriot League.
Junior Cydnee Sanders, who has led the conference in hitting for the entire season, was impressive once again, recording six hits in nine at-bats across both games. Sanders was 4-for-5 with two runs and an RBI in the day’s first outing, and contributed two RBI and three runs to Bucknell’s win, hitting 2-for-4. Freshman Jacklyn Tyburk recorded a pair of hits in each contest, including a two-RBI homer in the first game of the day.
Colgate took a 2-0 lead in the opening stanza of the first contest and maintained the advantage through the third inning. The Bison tied things up in the top of the fourth, as junior Kristen Zahn and Sanders scored when Tyburk singled up the middle, but the Raiders reclaimed their edge in the bottom of the stanza, scoring three runs to take a 5-2 lead.
Tyburk’s homer in the top of the sixth brought Bucknell within one, and Sanders doubled down the left field line in the seventh to drive in freshman Jacee Almond, who reached on a single, knotting the score at 5-5. The Bison prevented the Raiders from scoring in the bottom of the stanza, sending the game into extra innings, but it was the home team that would break the tie and earn the win, scoring on a single in the bottom of the ninth.
Sophomore Cindy Cherness received the loss for the Bison in spite of a strong outing. She pitching 5.1 innings in relief, allowing five hits and just one earned run, while walking one and striking out three. Freshman Lara Bean gave up two earned runs in the first inning, and sophomore Dana Nielsen allowed four hits and three earned runs in 2.1 innings in the circle.
All of the action in the day’s second game happened after the first three innings, beginning when Bucknell worked its way onto the board with two runs in the top of the fourth, with both Zahn and Sanders scoring on an error by Colgate’s shortstop. Another Raider error brought in two more Bison runs in the top of the fifth, but Bucknell used its offensive power to explode for eight runs in the top of the sixth, taking a 12-0 lead over Colgate. Senior Mallory Lyons, Sanders and sophomore Mariah Midyette all drove in runs in the stanza, and senior Caryn Connors used crafty running to steal home and cap off scoring for the visitors.
The Raiders tallied a three-RBI home run in the bottom of the sixth, but the Bison defense halted the scoring at that point, taking the 12-3 win after six innings.
Sophomore Amanda Fazio earned her second victory of the season, pitching 4.2 innings in the starting role. Fazio allowed just two hits and didn’t give up a run, while also walking three and striking out six. Cherness and Nielsen both made appearances in relief.
The Bison and the Raiders will conclude their three-game series on Sunday afternoon with a single contest at 12 p.m. The action will be video streamed on the Patriot League Network.