BOSTON – Bucknell scored all of its runs in the first inning, and Raeanne Geffert did her part with a complete-game pitching performance as the second-seeded Bison beat third-seeded Lehigh 3-1 in the opening round of the Patriot League Tournament on Thursday at the BU Softball Field.
Bucknell (27-21-1) advances to the winner’s bracket final, where it will take on top-seeded Boston University on Friday at 11 a.m. The Terriers improved to 37-18 overall with an 8-0, five-inning win over fourth-seeded Army West Point in the first game of the tournament.
Bucknell fell behind 1-0 after Lehigh (22-25-1) scored an unearned run in the top of the first inning, but responded with three runs in the bottom half of the frame. Lauren Hadley started the rally with one-out RBI single, scoring Anna Gimmestad from second base. Hadley fell behind 0-2 in the count before fighting off numerous pitches. She eventually came through with the clutch hit on a 1-2 pitch.
The table was set for Julienne Egofske on some heads-up baserunning on a popup to foul territory in right field by Taylor Wolfgang. The Lehigh right fielder made a nice catch, but Meghan Kovac and Lauren Hadley tagged up to move to third and second, respectively. Egofske made that count as she went the opposite way with a two-run double down the left-field line.
The unearned run in the first inning was all Geffert gave up. Making her postseason debut, the sophomore allowed six hits, didn’t walk a batter, and struck out four.
Geffert gave up just two hits over the final four innings, both coming in the top of the seventh. Lehigh hit back-to-back singles to get the game-tying run to first base, but Geffert secured the win with a strikeout and a groundout back to the circle.
Bucknell is in the winner’s bracket final for the first time since 2015. The winner of the game between the Bison and Terriers will advance to the championship round, where it will play whichever team comes out of the consolation bracket. The losing team will play the winner between Army West Point and Lehigh.