Softball sweeps Holy Cross, falls to Saint Francis (Pa.)

Charlotte Dursee, Senior Writer

Bison Softball competed in a three-game series against Holy Cross. They were able to win two crucial games on the first day of the series, improving their record to 12-26, 4-10 in patriot league play. 

Olivia Marinelli ’23 started in the circle for the first game. Holy Cross opened with an impressive homer to try and set the tone for the rest of the game. However, the Bison soon were able to obtain a comfortable lead over the Crusaders in the third inning. 

Ava Aguilar ’25 started the Bison off with a single and was able to advance to third off of two sacrifice bunts. MaKenzie Hilling ’25 hit a double that brought home Aguilar. 

The Bison continued to dominate in the third inning. Zoie Smith ’24 had an RBI single and then stole second. Savannah Jones ’25 singled down the right field line. Smith scored before Jones was tagged out and the Bison finished the inning with a 3-1 lead.

Holy Cross grabbed a run in the third inning, cutting the score to 3-2. Kaiya Burton ’23 ended the inning before the Crusaders could make any more damage. 

The Bison added another run in the top of the fifth inning. Haley Speicher ’26 hit a triple to center field. Hilling followed with a walk and then stole second. An infield single from Smith loaded the bases. Jones hit an RBI to bring in the Bison’s fourth run of the game. Chase Knapp ’23 grounded out and brought the inning to an end. 

The Bison added another run in the seventh inning to cushion their lead. Holy Cross made their best attempts to come back but the Bison prevented any more runs for the Crusaders. The first game ended 5-2. 

Right off the bat, the Bison grabbed the lead in the second matchup. With two outs on the scoreboard, Smith singled and then stole second base. Jones brought her in with a single and then advanced to second as the Crusaders threw home. Knapp followed with a triple that scored Jones and gave the Bison a 2-0 lead.

Holy Cross came out strong as well, tying the game up in their frame of the first inning. A walk and a double brought in their first run, followed by a single with the tying run. Jones obtained three outs to end the inning before Holy Cross could grab the lead. 

Holy Cross continued scoring in the bottom of the third and were able to jump out to a 5-2 lead. Jones loaded the bases and soon was replaced by Madison Roukey ’25, who closed the inning before any more runs were scored.

The Bison counterattacked their next time up. Knapp got things started with a double. Kailyn Lorberter ’23 hit a single that brought in Knapp to score. Speicher hit a single that brought in another run. The inning ended with the Bison cutting the score to 5-2.

In the fourth inning, Holy Cross added another run. A double and a bunt put runners on first and third. The run came from a wild pitch. Roukey was able to prevent any further runs by ending the inning but Holy Cross led 6-4.

In the fifth inning, the Bison successfully stole the lead from the Crusaders. Smith walked after a lengthy at bat. Jones singled and Knapp drew another walk to fill the bases. Lorberter successfully brought in two runs off a double. Juliette Basso ’25 pinch hit and hit a sacrifice fly that brought in the second run. The inning ended soon after, but the Bison now held the close lead 7-6.

Burton entered the circle in the sixth inning to pitch. The Crusaders were able to put runners on bases but nothing came from their efforts. The Bison finished the second game with a 7-6 win.

The final game in the series against Holy Cross took place the next day. Roukey started in the circle and tallied a career-high of 10 strikeouts as she pitched a complete game shutout. The first three innings were uneventful with neither team seeing much action. 

The Bison got things started offensively in the top of the fourth inning. Speicher started with an impressive triple that rolled to the wall. Hilling hit a sacrifice fly that brought in Speicher to score. Smith reached on an error and Jones was walked. Knapp brought Smith home with a single. Lorberter walked and the Bison loaded the bases and only had one out on the board. Basso and Annabella Hawkins ’24 were unable to capitalize on the opportunity and the inning came to an end. 

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Roukey let up a walk, but was able to prevent any damage by striking out the next three batters.

In the fifth inning, Speicher singled and Smith and Jones both walked to load the bases. Holy Cross successfully prevented any runners from being brought in. 

The Bison added a run in the seventh inning. Noelle Gardon ’24, Speicher and Hilling each singled. Elena Horn ’25 entered to run for Gardon. Smith hit a fielder’s choice that resulted in Horn being called out. Jones singled to bring in Speicher and push the Bison’s lead to 3-0. The next two batters brought in the next two outs. 

Roukey obtained two quick outs in the final frame. A fly out caught by Speicher ended the game and gave the Bison their final victory in the series. This marked the Bison’s first sweep since the 2021 season.  

The Bison took on Saint Francis in a double header on Tuesday at home. Marinelli once again started in the circle. Both teams were calm offensively throughout the first two innings. The Bison had a chance to score in the top of the third as they loaded the bases, but a pop up and ground out from Smith and Jones brought the inning to a close. Saint Francis capitalized on this momentum and scored a run in the third inning. Marinelli was able to prevent any other runs that inning. 

The Bison’s next chance to score came in the sixth inning. Smith doubled (her fourteenth on the season), and Jones was hit by a pitch. Three straight outs ended the inning before they could bring the runners in. 

Their third and final opportunity to tie the game came in the final inning. Gardon walked and Speicher singled with one out. Hilling hit and got the second out. Smith was able to load the bases on a walk. However, Jones popped up and Saint Francis was able to end the game with a 1-0 victory. 

Later that day the Bison faced Saint Francis one more time. The Orange and Blue were the first to score right away in the first inning. Speicher stole her way to second after a single. Smith popped up and Speicher reached. Lorberter was up with two outs and singled up the middle which brought Speicher in. 

Burton started in the circle but immediately faced adversity. Saint Francis tied the game up off a double, a wild pitch and single. Then a single and two doubles tallied three more runs. Roukey came in to clean up and end the inning but Saint Francis led 4-1.

The Bison were able to cut the deficit in the third inning to 6-2. Speicher and Hilling singled, and Speicher soon advanced to third on a pitchers choice. Jones hit a fly that brought in the run. 

Hunter Vestal ’24 entered to pitch in the third inning. Saint Francis pulled off seven runs against Vestal and now led 13-2 by the end of the third. Neither team scored in the fourth inning. 

The Bison needed to score in the fifth and did their best to do so. Basso singled and Speicher reached on an error, which sent Basso to third and Spiecher to second. Hawkins hit a grounder to bring Basso in to score. Smith’s RBI brought in Speicher. However, the momentum soon came to an end and Saint Francis won 13-4.

The Bison looked to improve their record this Saturday in a double header against St. Johns in Queens, N.Y.

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