Gardner-Webb Softball Falls To Bucknell And Holy Cross Friday Afternoon To Open Tournament Play

Ryan Gunter Photo  |  Gardner-Webb University
Ryan Gunter Photo | Gardner-Webb University

BOILING SPRINGS – Gardner-Webb fell twice on the first day of the 2017 Runnin' Bulldog Softball Tournament, losing 5-2 to Bucknell in the first of two games and falling 4-2 in the nightcap to Holy Cross.

Bucknell plated four runs in the top of the seventh to rally for a 5-2 win over Gardner-Webb Friday afternoon, the Bison's second win of the day.

Gardner-Webb (2-8) held a 2-1 lead heading into the seventh, but hit a Bucknell batter to lead off the inning. The Bison then took advantage of an error to put the go-ahead run on board and loaded the bases with a single.

Another hit batter tied the score and – after a nice defensive play cut down a runner at the plate for the first out – a walk with the bases loaded gave Bucknell a 3-2 lead. Cleanup hitter Meghan Kovac stepped in with runners on base and roped a two-run single to centerfield for what would be the final margin.

Bucknell pitcher Raeanne Geffert retired Gardner-Webb in order to end the game, getting a pair of pop ups and a ground ball to seal the win.

Gardner-Webb took a 1-0 lead in the first, when Alia Booth boomed a triple to deep center and scored on an RBI single by Rachel Cumiskey. After Bucknell tied the score in the top of the fifth, the Runnin' Bulldogs answered right back.

Sam Harrell legged out a triple to left with one out in the bottom half of the fifth, then scored on an RBI double from Kaylee Wacaster for a 2-1 lead.

Pitcher Summer Darnell made that lead stand until running into trouble in the seventh. Darnell (0-2) hurled 6.0 innings, scattered seven hits and allowed five runs in the circle for GWU. Freshman Olivia Henson came on to complete the seventh inning, facing five batters with one hit and one walk allowed.

Gardner-Webb had five hits in the game, with Booth (2-for-3) leading the way. Wacaster (1-for-3, 2B, RBI) and Cumiskey (1-for-2, RBI) drove in both runs.

Holy Cross plated three runs in the top of the third and held on for a 4-2 win over Gardner-Webb in the final of four games played at the 2017 Runnin' Bulldog Softball Tournament Friday afternoon.

The Crusaders (2-0) got a leadoff home run from Sydney Burr to start the third, then added an RBI single from Taylor Wahler and a passed ball to seize control of the game. Holy Cross had more than half (four) of its seven hits for the game in that inning.

Gardner-Webb struck back in the bottom half, getting a nicely timed leadoff double from Kaylee Wacaster and an RBI groundout by Annamarie Warley to trim the lead to 3-1.

The Runnin' Bulldogs pulled even closer in the bottom of the fourth, getting a leadoff walk from Callie Thornton and another walk to Megan Gibbons to put pressure on Holy Cross quickly. A ground ball moved both Thornton and Gibbons into scoring position, then Sam Harrell plated Thornton with another grounder to make the score 3-2.

Holy Cross added an insurance run in the top of the sixth, stranded Allie Barrick on base in the sixth after a two-out single and retired the 'Dogs in order in the seventh to pick up the win.

Gardner-Webb (2-9) collected three hits in the game, getting knocks from Wacaster (1-for-4, 2B), Warley (1-for-3, 2B, RBI) and Barrick (1-for-3).

Mackenzie Thompson (1-4) took the loss, hurling 4.0 innings, allowing two earned runs and five hits (two strikeouts). Ashley Wark worked 3.0 innings and allowed just one run on two hits out of the pen.

Holy Cross used three arms in the game, with Olivia Sloane getting the win with 1.0 inning of relief. She allowed one run on two walks. Alexandra Held got the start and allowed an unearned run on one hit in 3.0 innings pitched. Katy Watson closed the game and picked up a save, working 3.0 scoreless frames with five strikeouts.

Gardner-Webb will be back in action Saturday, taking on Holy Cross again at Noon in the second game of the day. The Crusaders will play Hampton Saturday morning at 10:00 am.

GWU will also play twice Saturday, hosting Bucknell at 2:00 pm.