BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. -- The Bison softball team made it three straight victories to start the 2017 season, including two straight against Gardner-Webb, the host team in the Runnin' Bulldogs Invitational. On Friday, the Bison used a four-run rally in the top of the seventh inning to beat Gardner-Webb, and a day later an eight-run outburst in the top of the fifth was the difference in an 8-2 win.
The Bison scored eight more runs in their second game of the day, giving them 26 through four games, but Seton Hall's potent lineup produced runs in every inning en route to an 18-8 Pirates win.
Bucknell is now 3-1 on the season and will finish up the weekend with a single game Sunday against Hampton at noon. The Bison blanked Hampton 5-0 in the season opener on Friday.
Game 1 - Bucknell 8, Gardner-Webb 2
Paulina Gutkin delivered an RBI triple and a 3-run double in Bucknell's eight-run fifth inning, and that was the difference in an 8-2 victory over tournament-host Gardner-Webb.
The Runnin' Bulldogs plated a run in the bottom of the first inning, and it remained a 1-0 game until the Bison exploded in the top of the fifth, sending 13 batters to the plate. After Carolyn Wan led off with a walk, Gutkin tripled to left field to tie it up.
Ryanne Rokos put the Bison in front with an infield hit that scored a run. After an RBI single by Lauren Hadley, a sac fly by Meghan Kovac, and a bases-loaded hit by pitch by Wan, Gutkin cleared the bases with another drive into left field, capping the eight-run outburst.
Lara Bean pitched the final five innings to pick up the win. After four straight hitless innings, she surrendered an unearned run on two hits in the bottom of the seventh.
Bucknell out-hit Gardner-Webb 8-4, with Gutkin and Marisa Alemany collecting two hits apiece. Gutkin's four RBIs were the first four of her career.
Game 2 - Seton Hall 18, Bucknell 8 (6 inn.)
It was a slugfest in the nightcap. Down 7-3 after four innings, Bucknell posted five runs in the top of the fifth inning to take an 8-7 lead over Seton Hall. But the Pirates answered with seven in the bottom of the fifth, then ended it with four more in the sixth. Hailey Arteaga's 3-run homer was the deciding blow.
Alemany went 3-for-4 and Gutkin 2-for-3 to lead the Bison offense. Anna Gimmestad got that fifth-inning rally going with a one-out, RBI double, scoring Alemany. Kovac and Gutkin later added RBI singles, the latter plating the go-ahead run.
Alexis Walkden's 3-run homer was the big hit in Seton Hall's seven-run retort. The inning began with a walk and a hit batter. Valerie Suto had a two-run single, followed by Waldken's blast.
Alemany singled for her third hit of the game and fifth of the day in the top of the sixth, but the Bison could not move her aronud. The Pirates then walked it off in the bottom of the frame.