Game One: Bucknell 7, Lafayette 3
Game Two: Bucknell 12, Lafayette 0 (5 innings)
EASTON, Pa. – The Bucknell softball team cruised past Lafayette on Saturday afternoon, battling through the cold and wind to earn victories in both games of the Patriot League doubleheader. The Bison took a 7-3 win in the first game of the day, and the offense exploded for 12 runs in five innings in the second game, giving the squad a 12-0 win over the Leopards. Bucknell improved to 14-15 overall and 6-2 in conference action with the pair of wins, while Lafayette dropped to 3-21 overall and 1-7 in league play with the defeats.
“Our offense had a really strong day,” commented head coach Bonnie Skrenta. “All of our players were able to battle through some tough weather conditions and we came up with hits at every spot in our batting order. Lafayette scored some runs on us in the first game and we answered well, and then Dana did a great job of keeping their hitters off-balance in the second contest, giving us another strong win.”
Freshman Jacee Almond led Bucknell’s offensive surge, hitting 5-for-7 with one run and two RBI across both games, while junior Kristen Zahn was 3-for-7 with four runs and one RBI. Junior Tori Robinson was 2-for-2 with three runs and an RBI in the day’s second game, while freshman Christina Martinez connected on both of her at-bats in that contest, driving in four runs and scoring two of her own.
Sophomore Mariah Midyette doubled down the right field line in Bucknell’s first at-bat of the day, driving in junior Cydnee Sanders and Zahn to give the Bison an early, 2-0 lead. After a quiet second, the scoring continued in the top of the third when Zahn, who reached on a double, scored on a sacrifice fly by Midyette.
The Leopards made it a game in the bottom of the third, scoring twice on a single up the middle, and then knotted the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth with a run scored on a double down the left field line. The Bison answered with a four-run seventh however, recording four hits, and kept the home team scoreless in the bottom of the stanza to clinch the 7-3 victory.
Sophomore Cindy Cherness earned the first win of the day, improving to 3-1 on the season. Cherness pitched four innings in relief for the Bison, allowing three hits and one earned run while walking four and striking out the same. Freshman Lara Bean made the start, allowing three hits and two earned runs in 3.0 innings of action.
The Bison offense was firing on all cylinders in the second game of the day, recording two hits in the first and scoring three runs on two hits in the second. Martinez was responsible for all three RBI in that stanza, hitting her first collegiate home run to give Bucknell a 3-0 lead over Lafayette.
The scoring barrage continued in the top of the third, with Midyette knocking in two on a double to right field. Robinson singled up the middle to bring Midyette home, and then scored on a Martinez single, putting the Bison up 7-0.
Sophomore Dana Nielsen, who pitched the complete game, didn’t allow a hit until the bottom of the fourth stanza, but by that time her squad held a 9-0 lead over Lafayette. Almond scored in the top of the inning when senior Mallory Lyons doubled to left center, and then Sanders singled to left field, driving Lyons home.
Bucknell capped off a truly impressive outing with a three-run fifth inning, scoring twice on an Almond double to left field and once on a fielding error. Nielsen struck out two in the bottom of the stanza, and Lafayette’s final batter fouled out to first base, giving the Bison the 12-0 victory.
Nielsen improved to 6-7 on the season with the win, pitching her sixth complete game. The sophomore allowed just two hits, walked four and struck out four.
Bucknell will return to the Lafayette Softball Fields tomorrow afternoon to conclude the three-game series with a single contest at 12 p.m. Live stats will be available.