Softball loses to Army in weekend series

Tallulah Fuhs, Contributing Writer

Bucknell Softball started off the weekend with two games on Saturday and one on Sunday, all against Army West Point. 

In the top of the first inning, Haley Speicher ’26 and MaKenzie Hilling ’25 made it onto the bases. Zoie Smith ’24 drove the ball into the left-center field gap, sending Speicher home, but Hilling sacrificed herself to send Smith to third base. 

Savannah Jones ’25 singled and sent Smith home, allowing Bucknell to gain a 2-0 lead. Jones stepped into the pitching circle and led the Bison to keep the Black Knights off the scoreboard. 

Army kept pushing, but Jones and the rest of the Bucknell softball team worked together to prevent the Black Knights from making any advances. 

No noteworthy events occurred until the fifth inning. First-year Marissa Rapino walked, followed by Annabella Hawkins ’24, and Speicher singled. With bases loaded, Hilling nailed one into right field, sending Rapino home. The Bison were not able to exploit these opportunities, ending the inning with a score of 3-0. 

The Bison girls kept Army in their place but carried their hitting momentum into the top of the sixth. Junior Noelle Gardon hit her first collegiate home run. Kailyn Lorberter ’23 singled with Bella Radican ’25 pinch-running for her. Next, Hawkins sacrificed herself with a bunt, allowing Radican to score. The top of the sixth ended with a score of 5-0. 

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Army scored one run off of two singles and a passing ground ball, adjusting the score to 5-1. 

Jones started the seventh inning with a single and a steal of second and then third. Lorberter sacrificed herself, once again, to allow Jones to score. 

Ending the seventh inning and the game overall, Army was able to take advantage of Bucknell’s errors, changing the score to and ending the game as 6-4. 

Game two started with Senior Olivia Marinelli in the pitching circle. Marinelli held her ground and shut out Army, but Army did the same thing to the Bison in the first inning. 

Within the second inning, Bucknell took the lead. Gardon walked and Chase Knapp ’23 singled to left field. Lorberter singled, causing the pitcher to make an error, allowing Gardon to score. Juliette Basso ’25 singled, and Knapp scored for the 2-0 lead at the end of the second inning. 

The next couple of innings were quiet with no runs, but lots of opportunities were missed out on. Army, in the bottom of the sixth, was able to score three runs off singles and errors made by the Bison. 

The Bucknell women were not able to make any advancements in the seventh inning, but the same happened with the Black Knights. The game ended with a loss, 2-3. 

Jones started Sunday off in the circle for the Bison. 

Army was able to start the first inning with a run caused by two singles and two walks. The Bison came back to tie the score in the second inning. Gardon doubled with two outs while Lorberter followed with a single, driving Gardon back home. 

Now tied at 1-1, the Bison began the third inning with a single from Speicher and a walk into a steal from Smith, but these ladies were stranded on the bases as the top of the inning closed. 

Sophomore Madison Roukey entered the pitching circle in the bottom of the third, causing a stalemate to occur for the next couple of innings. 

Army was able to break through this streak in the sixth inning. These girls exploited a couple of errors made by the Bucknell softball team, allowing them to find two more runs and end the game with a 1-3 score.

Although the Bison were not able to dominate the series, they still managed to have some remarkable plays and rely on teamwork to pave the way for success. We will see the Bucknell softball team return next weekend on home turf against Boston University.

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