WILMINGTON, N.C. – Bucknell played two teams Friday that have combined for four appearances in the NCAA Softball Tournament in the past three years, falling 11-1 in six innings to Maine in the first game before bouncing back with a 7-4 win over Longwood later in the day.
Both of Friday’s games were played at UNCW’S Boseman Field and were the first of Bucknell’s five games at the Seahawk Softball Classic. The Bison improved to 2-5. Maine ended the day at 1-1, while Longwood dropped to 5-2.
Longwood is the three-time defending Big South champion and NCAA qualifier. Maine qualified for the 2016 NCAA Tournament after winning the title in the America East.
The Bison will play the same two teams on Saturday, taking on the Black Bears at 3 p.m., and the Lancers at 5:30 p.m.
Bucknell 7, Longwood 4
Anna Gimmestad hit a two-run home run and Lauren Lichtenwalner pitched all seven innings to lead Bucknell to a 7-4 win over Longwood in the second game of the day. The Bison won for the first time in six tries in the all-time series with the Lancers, although the teams hadn’t played since 2013.
Gimmestad’s blast sailed over the left-field fence to give Bucknell a 3-0 lead in the third inning. It was her first homer of the season and the fifth of her career. Marisa Alemany scored on the play after reaching base with a one-out-double.
Just one of the four runs allowed by Lichtenwalner was earned, and it cut Bucknell’s lead to 3-1 in the top of the fourth inning. The three unearned runs all came in the sixth inning after the Bison had built up a 7-1 lead. The sophomore gave up five hits, didn’t walk a batter, and struck out three.
Lichtenwalner also came through at the plate with a single and double and scored after both hits. Taylor Wolfgang brought her home with a single in the second inning and then again with an RBI groundout in the fifth.
The Bison had four extra-base hits in the game, including a double by Meghan Kovac that moved her into third on the school’s career list with 41. Lauren Hadley had a single and RBI, while Halie Mariano and Paulina Gutkin contributed one single apiece.
Maine 11, Bucknell 1 (6 innings)
Maine came out swinging in its first game of the season, tallying 11 hits in an 11-1, six-inning win over Bucknell to start the day.
The Black Bears wasted no time getting their bats going, scoring three runs on five hits in the top of the first inning. Three of their four extra-base hits for the game came in succession with one-out in the inning.
Alemany had the only two hits for the Bison. She tripled and scored on an error in the fourth inning, and singled in the sixth.