Bucknell Softball Comes From Behind to Split Doubleheader at Lafayette
April 11, 2010
EASTON, Pa. - Bucknell softball split its final doubleheader with Lafayette, taking a 5-4 loss in game one before coming back 3-1 in game two at Metzgar Fields on Sunday. The Bison (15-11, 5-3) were forced to play catch-up in both contests and twice relied on big innings to put all their runs on the board. A key bases-loaded opportunity and strong pitching from Alex MacLean (Northampton, Pa./Northampton Area) in the nightcap ended the day on a high note to give Bucknell its first Patriot League series win this season.
Bucknell's scores came in bunches. All four of the Bison's runs in game one came in the fifth inning, taking Bucknell from a 4-0 hole to a tie. The Orange and Blue's three runs in the day's finale all crossed the plate in the fourth inning, again allowing Bucknell to overcome an early deficit.
The comeback in game two was more successful for the Bison. After a first-inning two-out home run from Kristin Garganio, MacLean settled down and limited Lafayette (10-21, 1-7) to just five more hits in the rest of the game. She also struck out seven batters, tying a career high, and walked only one.
MacLean's (5-1) Sunday performance was her second consecutive complete game for a win. The freshman also recorded a one-run winning outing yesterday in the Bison's 9-1 five-inning victory over the Leopards. With her recent streak of success, MacLean has won her last three starts and brought her season ERA down to 3.37.
Bucknell did not waste MacLean's effort. It took some time for the Bison's bats to heat up, but Mary Pavlovich (Johnstown, Pa./Richland) helped break the slumber with a one-out single in the fourth inning. Shelly McCormack (Humble, Texas/Kingwood) followed with a single of her own, and was replaced on the base paths by the pinch-running Lauren Trosch (Reisterstown, Md./McDonogh).
Pavlovich came home on an RBI single from Jane Messersmith (Costa Mesa, Calif./Newport Harbor), knotting up the contest at one run apiece. Lauren Fry (South Plainfield, N.J./South Plainfield) really put the Leopards pitcher Kasey Karr in a tight place, drawing a walk to load the bases with two outs. Jessie Snyder (Tacoma, Wash./Stadium) did her best to clear the bases, recording an RBI single that scored Messersmith and Trosch and gave Bucknell the 3-1 advantage.
That score held for the remainder of the game. MacLean retired the Leopards' offense in order in the final three innings, and Bucknell was unable to cash in on a handful of baserunners in their last at-bats. Despite the steady finish for Karr (8-10), the Lafayette pitcher took the loss with three runs on six hits and two strikeouts in 6.0 innings of work.
Pavlovich, Messersmith and McCormack each finished the game 1-for-3 at the plate, while Snyder was 1-for-2 with an RBI.
Messersmith opened the day as the starting pitcher in game one. The sophomore started strong, never facing more than three batters in an inning, but stumbled in the fifth. Stacey Dorn claimed an RBI double with no outs to break up the shutout. A wild pitch with the bases loaded scored another Leopard, putting Lafayette ahead 2-0.
Lafayette added two more runs in the inning before Bridget Gates (Milford, Conn./Academy of Our Lady of Lauralton Hall) entered the game in relief. The move proved to be effective, as Gates struck out the only two batters she faced in the inning to put Bucknell back on offense.
The Bison did not need much time to regain control, as they tied the game in the bottom half of the fifth. Fry gave a preview of things to come, walking to load the bases with Alyssa Okita (Davis, Calif./Davis) and Mary Horton (Plantation, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas). McCormack immediately cleared the bases with a double and brought Bucknell to within a single run at 4-3. Alison Ford (Suisun City, Calif./Fairfield) plated the final run for the Bison with a sacrifice fly that scored Laura Sandford (New Egypt, N.J./New Egypt), who had entered the game as pinch runner.
Bucknell stayed in the mix for the rest of the game and the 4-4 score held until the top half of the seventh inning. Lafayette broke the tie despite some tough Bison defense. The Leopards placed runners on base, but Bucknell threw out the lead runner, getting outs on fielder's choices twice in the frame. The Bison were less successful on a two-out double from Jordan Parsons that gave Lafayette the final lead at 5-4.
Messersmith (1-6) took the loss in the circle in spite of her strong start. Before leaving the game, Messersmith gave up four runs, only two of them earned, on three hits and struck out two in 4.1 innings. Karr earned the win for Lafayette with four runs on seven hits in 7.0 innings pitched.
Bucknell will return to the field to take on Saint Francis (Pa.) on Thursday, April 15. The doubleheader in Loretto, Pa., is slated for a 3 p.m. start.