LEWISBURG, Pa. --- Freshman Lauren Hadley ripped a two-out single up the middle, driving in Carolyn Wan for the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning of Bucknell’s 3-2 victory over Lehigh in a Patriot League softball game Tuesday at Becker Field. The Bison closed the regular season at 27-21 overall and 11-7 in the league, beating first-place Lehigh for the first time in eight tries dating back to last season.
Wan led off the bottom of the seventh inning with a swinging bunt, catching just enough of the ball to have it stop right in front of the plate. The Lehigh catcher made a nice play, but Wan hustled down the line for a single. She advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by senior Amanda Fazio, and made her way to third on a groundout by Anna Gimmestad. Following an intentional walk to sophomore Meghan Kovac, Hadley plated the game-winning run with a single on an 0-1 pitch.
A defensive play earlier in the game was almost as important for Bucknell as Hadley’s clutch hit. Lehigh went up 2-1 with a run in the top of the third inning and was looking to add more with one out and runners on first and third. Sophomore Celina Antonellis cut the inning short, catching a fly ball in left field off the bat of Vicky Lattanzio before delivering a perfect throw to home to get the runner attempting to tag from third.
That was the second time Lehigh led in the game. The Mountain Hawks scored once in the top of the second inning, but Bucknell responded with a run to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning. Junior Chaylen Andolino went the other way with a single to right field, plating Mariah Midyette to tie the game.
Trailing 2-1 in the fifth inning, Bucknell battled back again to tie the game. Wan sparked the inning once again with a one-out single, advanced to second on a single by Fazio, and scored on a single by Kovac.
Fazio went all seven innings to notch her 15th win of the season. She gave up eight hits and one walk, but kept her composure to limit the Mountain Hawks to just two runs. She struck out two batters.
The teams combined for 19 hits, 11 of which came from the Bison. All 11 hits were singles, including two apiece by junior Jacee Almond and Wan. Fazio, Gimmestad, Kovac, Hadley, Midyette, junior Christina Martinez and Andolino had one hit apiece.
Bucknell recorded the win over starting pitcher Emily Sorem, the reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Week. In addition to the 11 hits, Sorem gave up one walk and struck out five batters.
Bucknell will be either the third or fourth seed in the Patriot League Tournament. Lehigh, which dropped to 33-13 overall and 11-3 in the conference, and Army West Point are battling for the regular season title and hosting rights for the four-team tournament, which will be held on May 12-14.