Pitt softball splits doubleheader with Bucknell


Victor Wu

Jenna Modic pitched her last game as a Pitt Panther. | Wenhao Wu / Staff Photographer

By Dan Sostek / Sports Editor

Coming off an ACC series win against North Carolina State, Pitt’s softball team had a chance Wednesday to start to surge.

But due to some stranded runners and an error-filled third inning, the team’s roll stalled a bit in a doubleheader against Bucknell.

Pitt split the two games with the Bison, winning the first game 9-0 and falling in the second 5-4, with ace pitcher Kayla Harris coming up just short in the finale.

In game one, pitcher Jenna Modic was the star, stifling the Bison by tossing a complete game shutout in the Panthers’ five-inning, mercy rule win.

Pitt’s offense provided a bevy of run support for Modic.

Olivia Gray tallied Pitt’s first runs, launching a two-run homer to center field in the second inning, scoring Maggie Sevilla. Then in the third, Sevilla and Giorgiana Zeremenko launched back-to-back shots, giving the Panthers a 5-0 lead.

Modic continued to deal, as the Pitt lead grew larger via two RBI hits by Kaitlin Manuel — including a two-run single with the bases loaded — as well as bases-loaded walk by Zeremenko.

The Panthers’ pitcher set the Bison down 1-2-3 in the final frame to secure the victory, as they took the contest by a score of 9-0.

Modic finished a complete game, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out three. Manuel finished 3-3 with three RBI, while Sevilla also was a perfect 3-3 with one RBI.

In game two, the Panthers had ace Kayla Harris on the mound, fresh off earning ACC Co-Pitcher of the Week honors after winning three games.

Pitt gave Harris a lead in the second inning, as Zeremenko walked and eventually scored on an illegal pitch by Bucknell’s Lara Bean.

But the Panthers’ defense fell apart in the top of the third, as errors by Zeremenko in left field and McKayla Taylor at shortstop led to the Bison taking a 3-1 lead. Only one of those runs was earned.

Pitt threatened in the third inning, as it put runners at first and third with one out. But Modic ended the rally, lining into a double play.

Zeremenko made up for her error in the fourth, launching her second solo home run of the doubleheader, halving the Bucknell lead. The Panthers had a chance to tie the game in that inning, but Shelby Pickett grounded out, stranding runners at the corners.

Pitt got two runners on again in the sixth, but this time was able to capitalize, as Zeremenko knocked a single through the right side of the infield to give the Panthers a 4-3 advantage.

Harris surrendered the lead in the very next inning, though, as the Bisons’ Lauren Hadley belted a two-run jack to left center as Bucknell regained a 5-4 lead.

That advantage would hold through the final inning, as Bucknell set Pitt down in order to earn the win.

After the split, the Panthers are 24-13 on the season. They travel to South Bend, Indiana, this weekend for a conference series against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

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