MACON, Ga. – Bucknell softball hit five home runs and totaled 14 hits, but Rutgers rallied for six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to get a 10-9 win Sunday at the Mercer Bears Classic.
The offensive outburst helped Bucknell take a 9-4 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning before Rutgers erupted for a big inning of its own. The Scarlet Knights’ six runs in the final frame came with just three hits, only one of which left the infield. The Bison were doomed by four walks, an error, and a hit-by-pitch that plated the game-winning run.
Bucknell had two four-run innings in the game. Kovac and Hadley hit back-to-back shots in the top of the third, while Alemany and Hadley both hit homers in the fifth. Kovac’s second blast was a solo shot in the seventh inning.
Bucknell and Rutgers split their two games against each other this weekend. The Bison, which won the first meeting 5-1, leave the tournament with an overall record of 8-16. The Scarlet Knights improved to 15-14.
Offensively, Bucknell was solid over five games at the Mercer Bears Classic, hitting .315 with 10 home runs. Eighteen of the team’s 45 hits went for extra bases. Unfortunately, the Bison were outscored 25-20, a result of committing eight more errors and issuing 14 more walks.
Hadley and Kovac went on a tear at the tournament. Hadley hit. 467 (7-15) with four home runs, a double, and seven RBIs, while Kovac batted .412 (7-17) with four homers and six RBIs. Kovac and Hadley rank first and second in the league in home runs with seven and four, respectively.
Bucknell now turns its attention to its Patriot League opener with the hope that a tough non-conference schedule will have the team prepared. The Bison will host Army West Point for a three-game series at Becker Field on Saturday and Sunday. It is the start of an eight-game home stretch.