Softball goes 2-1 in final home series against Lehigh, ending its 40th season

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Softball goes 2-1 in final home series against Lehigh, ending its 40th season

Photo Courtesy of Bucknell Athletics Department

Photo Courtesy of Bucknell Athletics Department

Photo Courtesy of Bucknell Athletics Department

Alexa Girasole, Senior Writer

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The Orange and Blue are one spot ahead of Lehigh in second place with a 9-3 conference record. The two teams only trail Boston University in the standings. After dropping their first game of the homestand on April 13, the Bison swept the Mountain Hawks in the doubleheader on April 14. It was their first two-game sweep of Lehigh since 1998, a fitting way to close out their final home series, as the program celebrated its 40th season as a varsity sport at the University.

“Being a part of Bucknell’s 40th softball team has been the greatest honor of my life and I can’t wait to see how far this team will go,” Celina Antonellis ’18 said.

The Orange and Blue lost their first game against the Mountain Hawks 1-4. The Bison trailed 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth when Anna Gimmestad ’19 hit a home run to cut the deficit to 3-1. It was her fourth homer of the season and the teams 40th. However, it was not enough to spark a rally, and Lehigh tacked on another run to secure the win. Gimmestad had two hits during the game, while Marisa Alemany ’20, Lauren Hadley ’19 and Meghan Kovac ’18 had one each. Raeanne Geffert ’20 pitched all seven innings, striking out six batters, not walking one and only giving up four runs.

The first game on Saturday was Senior Day and Kovac, Taylor Langtry ’18, Paulina Gutkin ’18, Antonellis and Maddie Minneci ’18 were honored with a special ceremony. Kovac marked the occasion with her 11th home run of the season. On the mound, Geffert pitched a complete game shutout against the Mountain Hawks, becoming the third pitcher this season to do so against Lehigh. Julienne Egofske ’20 broke the scoreless tie with a two-run single in the bottom of the second inning, scoring Tara Baglivo ’21 and Taylor Wolfgang ’21. A double by Gimmestad scored Egofske in the bottom of the sixth. Hadley, Ryanne Rokos ’19, Wolfgang and Gutkin all added singles.

“We are playing our game at the pace and the level we want to play at, and doing a great job of it,” Antonellis said.

Kovac recorded her 12th homer of the year during game two, adding to one of the Bison’s eight hits in a commanding 6-1 win. The Bison broke the 1-1 tie in the fifth with five runs, including singles from Gutkin and Baglivo and a sacrifice bunt from Egofske. Alemany added a single and a double, and Hadley added an RBI to her total.

“Winning the series against Lehigh was more than I ever could’ve asked for on Senior Day, but I can’t say I’m at all shocked by that result. This team is far more talented and far more cohesive than any team I’ve seen this season, so the expectation is always to win,” Antonellis said.

After the Bison’s strong performance in the series, Kovac was named Patriot League Player of the Week and Geffert was named Patriot League Pitcher of the Week. In her last five games, Kovac has hit a .529 average with 10 RBIs, eight runs scored, three doubles and three home runs. In the past week, Geffert has pitched 22 innings with 16 strikeouts and only two walks.

“After my personal experience with Lehigh over the past four years, it was amazing being able to take a series from them. This weekend gave us a lot of confidence, and I am really excited to get back out on the field with this team,” Kovac said.

The Bison will continue Patriot League Play on April 21-22 as they travel to New York to face the Colgate Raiders.

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