BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Meghan Kovac broke Bucknell’s career RBI record with a two-run home run against Northern Kentucky, but the Bison softball concluded the Campbell Invitational with a pair of losses Saturday at Amanda Littlejohn Stadium.
Bucknell dropped to 1-4 after the season-opening event with all four losses coming by two runs or less. The Bison fell 3-2 to Northern Kentucky and 3-1 to Morehead State on the final day.
Just four games into her senior season, Kovac has tallied 108 career RBIs to break the previous record of 107 set by Lauren Litts from 2004-07. She also moved into a tie with Alison Ford (2008-11) for fourth on the all-time home runs list with 14.
Kovac hit .438 (7-16) with two home runs, three doubles, and four RBIs in five games at the Campbell Invitational.
The Bison will play five games at the Seahawk Classic in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Feb. 23-25. Included on the weekend schedule are two games against Maine, two against Longwood, and one against host UNCW.
Northern Kentucky 3, Bucknell 2
Kovac’s two-run blast cleared the left field fence in the top of the fifth inning to cut Bucknell’s deficit from three runs to one, but the Bison were unable to plate any of the next three runners to reach scoring position in a 3-2 loss to Northern Kentucky.
Kovac was a perfect 4-for-4 in the contest, adding a double and two singles to her home run. Paulina Gutkin tripled, while Lauren Hadley contributed a pair of singles. Hadley was on base when Kovac homered in the fifth.
The Norse scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the third inning, including a two-run double by Sydney Ferrante.
Raeanne Geffert pitched four innings of scoreless relief for the Bison, allowing four hits and striking out four batters. She upped her streak of not allowing a walk to 26.2 consecutive innings.
Northern Kentucky evened its record at 2-2.
Morehead State 3, Bucknell 1
Bucknell faced Morehead State’s star pitcher Chelsea McManaway for the second time in as many days and suffered a 3-1 setback to the Eagles.
The Bison fared a little better against McManaway, who is unbeaten at 4-0 on the season, this time around, drawing five walks in the game and striking for a run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Sarah Magro led off the fifth with a walk, and pinch-runner Jess Hom would eventually score on an RBI fielder’s choice by Kovac.
The Eagles responded with two runs in the top of the sixth to take the lead for good. Ellen Barrett ripped an RBI double in the inning, and Hannah Murphy singled in a run.
Bucknell had a chance for a big inning in the third. Magro, Hadley, and Halie Mariano all drew walks to load the bases with two outs, but McManaway ended the threat with a strikeout.
Lauren Lichtenwalner started in the circle for the Bison and turned in a solid performance in a losing effort. She went 5.2 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out three. Senior Taylor Langtry pitched for the first time since her freshman year, returning from an injury that caused her to miss over two seasons, and recorded 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.
Morehead State upped its record to 6-1 with its third straight win.