HAMILTON, N.Y. – Sophomore Meghan Kovac led Bucknell with her bat in the first game, and senior Amanda Fazio got the job done with her arm in the second game as the Bison swept a Patriot League softball doubleheader at Colgate on Saturday.
Bucknell came back from a 3-0 deficit thanks to a grand slam by Kovac to win the first game. Fazio pitched a complete-game shutout to lead the Bison to a 6-0 win in the second game. The Bison guaranteed themselves at least a .500 record in the conference with four games remaining on the schedule.
The Bison improved to 25-19 overall and 9-5 in the Patriot League with two huge conference wins. The Raiders, one of the teams the Bison are battling with for a postseason spot, dropped to 8-24 overall and 3-7 in the league.
The teams will conclude the series at noon on Sunday. The game will be available to watch free of charge on the Patriot League Network.
Bucknell 4, Colgate 3
Kovac’s sixth home run of the season may have been her most important yet, as she put the Bison up 4-3 in the top of the fifth inning. Senior Dana Nielsen took it from there, shutting out the Raiders in the final three innings en route to her 10th win of the season.
Colgate jumped out to a 3-0 lead with one run in the first inning and two in the third inning. Marissa Dowling drove in two runs with a single, while Pami White knocked in one with her base hit.
Despite allowing at least one baserunner in each of the first four innings, Colgate starting pitcher Kyle Griswold held Bucknell scoreless until the fifth inning. Junior Christina Martinez, senior Lauren Swindell and freshman Anna Gimmestad all walked to load the bases, setting the stage for Kovac. With two outs, she drove an 0-1 pitch over the left field fence.
Bucknell had just three hits in the game, but showed patience at the plate with six walks. Fazio and junior Jacee Almond each singled.
Nielsen went the distance, giving up three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits and five walks. She struck out nine batters. Five of those strikeouts came in the final three innings.
Bucknell 6, Colgate 0
Fazio went all seven innings to record her third shutout of the season in Bucknell’s 6-0 win in the second game. She gave up four hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out 10.
Fazio lowered her season ERA to 1.79, the best in the Patriot League this season. She has 126 strikeouts and has walked just 18 batters.
The first run of the game was also scored by Fazio after she led off the game with an infield single. Kovac tacked on her fourth RBI of the day with a single up the middle to put the Bison up 1-0.
The Bison tallied 10 of their 11 hits, all of which were singles, against starting pitcher Brigit Ieuter, a Second Team All-Patriot League selection last season. Fazio, Gimmestad and Andolino had two apiece, while Kovac, freshman Lauren Hadley, Midyette and Martinez all chipped in with one hit.