MACON, Ga. – Sophomore pitcher Raeanne Geffert totaled 17 strikeouts without yielding an earned run over 10 innings in two appearances on Saturday, but the Bucknell softball team ran into some tough pitching on the other side and dropped a pair of games at the Mercer Bears Classic. The Bison fell 2-0 to Austin Peay in the morning and 8-3 to Mercer later in the day.
The Bison are now 8-15 on the season, much of it against top-notch competition in the state of Georgia during Spring Break. Austin Peay (14-7) and Mercer (18-9) already have a combined 32 wins this season, and Bucknell has also played two games each against 10th-ranked Georgia and a good Kennesaw State team on this trip.
The Bison will have one more game at Mercer’s tournament, coming on Sunday at 11 a.m. against Rutgers. Bucknell defeated the Scarlet Knights 5-1 on Friday.
Austin Peay 2, Bucknell 0
The Governors scored the only two runs of the game in the top of the second inning. With two on and two outs, Austin Peay scored one run on a throwing error and another on a Brooke Pfefferle single.
Other than that, Geffert was nearly flawless. She allowed five hits, three of them coming in that second inning, fanned 13 and walked only one. Her previous career high for strikeouts in a game was nine, which she had done three times.
The Bison put two runners on base in the fourth and had the tying run at the plate in the fifth and sixth, but Gross retired the side in order in the seventh to complete the shutout.
Mercer 8, Bucknell 3
Meghan Kovac hit a two-run homer and Stokes delivered an RBI single as part of Bucknell’s three-run top of the first inning. But the Bears answered with three in the bottom half, they scored in each of the first four innings, and went on to post the 8-3 win.
Kovac’s home run was her fifth of the season and 17th of her career. She tied Lauren Wible for second on Bucknell’s career list and is now just three shy of the all-time record of 20, set by Lauren Litts from 2004-07.
Paulina Gutkin also had a good game at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double. Bucknell rapped eight hits in the game, coming from six different players. Megan Lane paced Mercer’s nine-hit attack, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored.
After the Bison knocked Mercer starter Lauren O’Dell out of the game in the first inning. Megan Bilgri earned the win in the circle with 6.2 scoreless innings. Geffert pitched the final three scoreless innings in relief for Bucknell.