Game One: Bucknell 6, St. Peter's 0
Game Two:
Bucknell 2, Siena 0

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – The Bucknell softball team concluded competition in the 2014 Rebel Spring Games with an impressive showing on Friday, holding both of its opponents scoreless as it played to a 6-0 win over St. Peter’s and 2-0 triumph over Siena at the DiamondPlex. The Bison, who improved to 7-12 overall with the pair of victories, concluded their spring break tournament with a 5-5 record, their best since 2005.

Junior Cydnee Sanders led the offensive push, hitting 4-for-7 with three runs and one RBI between the two contests, while junior Kristen Zahn hit 3-for-7 on the day and sophomore Mariah Midyette was 2-for-3 with a run and three RBI against St. Peter’s. Sophomores Dana Neilsen and Cindy Cherness each earned a win in the pitching circle.

The Bison were firing on all cylinders from the very first inning of the day, jumping out to a 2-0 lead over the Peacocks by the end of the opening stanza. Senior Mallory Lyons, who was walked to get on base, scored when freshman Chaylen Andolino was also walked, and the second run of the team’s first at bat came when Midyette sent a single through the right side, bringing Sanders home.

Both teams remained scoreless through the top of the third inning, when Bucknell managed to tack on three runs to its total. Midyette drove in two of those tallies with a single to center field, and then scored herself, reaching when junior Erin Cox grounded out to St. Peter’s short stop. Nielsen struck out the side in the bottom of the stanza, sending the Bison into the fourth inning with a 5-0 lead.

Bucknell’s defense and pitching staff managed to keep St. Peter’s at bay through the next two innings, and the offense added another run in the sixth, providing even more insurance. Sanders singled with two outs, bringing senior Courtney Conover home, and five strikeouts in the Peacock’s last two at-bats sealed the 6-0 win for the Bison.

Nielsen, who pitched her fifth complete game of the season, improved her record to 4-4 overall with the win. The sophomore had one of her most stellar outings of the season against the Peacocks, scattering three hits across seven innings and striking out 12 batters while walking none.  

Bucknell scored both of its runs against Siena in the bottom of the first inning, beginning when a Sanders’ single brought Lyons home. Sanders scored the Bison’s second run, capitalizing the strength of a Zahn single to put her squad up 2-0.

The rest of the game was a defensive battle, with the Saints holding the Bison scoreless though their last five at-bats and Bucknell’s pitching staff keeping Siena off the board for the entirety of the game. Sanders, Zahn and sophomore Amanda Fazio each recorded a hit in the contest, while all four of Bucknell’s pitchers combined in the win. Fazio allowed just three hits, walked one and struck out four in 3.1 innings of action, while Cherness was awarded the win, improving to 1-1. The sophomore gave up four hits and struck out two batters in her 1.2 innings in the pitching circle. Freshman Lara Bean allowed one hit in the sixth inning, while Nielsen, who earned her second save of the season, allowed one hit and struck out one batter in the seventh.

Bucknell will open up its 2014 Patriot League season next Saturday, March 22 with a doubleheader against Army at 1 p.m. on Becker Field. The Bison will also take on the Black Knights on Sunday, March 23, playing a single game at 12 p.m.