PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Bucknell softball team defeated a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for the first time since 1997 with its 5-4 win over Pittsburgh in the second game of a doubleheader Wednesday at Vartabedian Field.
Bucknell, which dropped the first game 9-0 in five innings, left Pittsburgh with a record of 20-12. The Panthers dropped to 24-13 overall, including a 19-6 mark against non-conference opponents.
The teams combined for five home runs on the day. Freshman Lauren Hadley had the lone blast for Bucknell, but it was a big one as it came in the team’s one-run win.
Bucknell hadn’t beaten an opponent that was in the ACC at the time the game was played since recording a 4-3 win over Maryland in 1997. The Bison’s last win over a current member of the conference was a 4-1 victory over Pittsburgh in 2008.
The Bison will return to the league portion of their schedule when they host Army West Point for a three-game series at Becker Field on Saturday and Sunday. They enter with a 5-1 mark in the conference, while the Black Knights are 22-13 overall and 4-1 in league play.
Game 1 – Pittsburgh 9, Bucknell 0 (5 innings)
Pittsburgh, one of the best power-hitting teams in the nation, hit three home runs on its way to a 9-0 win in the first game. The Panthers entered the game ranked seventh in the country with 48 homers.
Giorgiana Zeremenko, Maggie Sevilla and Olivia Gray all had blasts for the Panthers. Zeremenko’s was her 12th of the season, while Sevilla sent one over the wall for the eighth time this year.
Jenna Modic recorded the shutout for Pittsburgh. She gave up three hits, walked one and struck out three in a complete-game effort.
Game 2 – Bucknell 5, Pittsburgh 4
Bucknell responded with a 5-4 win in the second game, aided by the home run from Hadley and a stellar pitching performance against the powerful Pittsburgh lineup from Fazio and junior Lara Bean.
The Bison were trailing 4-3 in the top of the sixth inning when Hadley sent the first pitch she saw over the wall in left-center field for her second home run of the season. Kovac scored on the homer after leading off the inning with a double.
Bucknell trailed 1-0 early in the game before scoring three runs in the top of the third inning. The Bison took advantage of three Pittsburgh errors and received a clutch RBI single from Rokos.
Bean started the game and gave up one run on three walks and no hits while striking out two batters in two innings of work. Fazio pitched five innings of relief to pick up her 10th win of the season. She allowed three runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out three.
Zeremenko went deep again for the Panthers, hitting her team-leading 12th home run of the season.
Bucknell’s win came against Kayla Harris, the reigning ACC Pitcher of the Week. She earned the award after striking out eight batters in two wins over North Carolina State.