Bucknell Softball Stumbles in 6-2 Loss to Lehigh in Patriot League Tournament
May 8, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Bucknell softball's good fortune turned sour in a hurry in the Patriot League Tournament matchup with No. 1 Lehigh, falling to the Mountain Hawks, 6-2, at Kaufman Field Friday. Kristin Frick (West Chester, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) posted a two-RBI triple in the fifth to give the Bison (19-31) some life, but Lehigh's (35-16-1) all-around game proved too strong.
Bucknell will have another chance today to keep its playoff season alive. The Bison will face the winner of No. 2 Colgate and No. 4 Lafayette in a 4 p.m. matchup. Lehigh advances to the championship game tomorrow.
The Bison found themselves in a 4-0 hole heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, but that was when their bats finally came to life. Cassie Lloyd (Mifflinburg, Pa./Mifflinburg) connected for a single, and Alison Ford (Suison, Calif./Fairfield) reached base after getting beaned by Lisa Sweeney.
Sweeney had been unflappable through the first half of the game, and the two base runners were the firs sign that the league's Pitcher of the Year might begin to struggle. Frick then got the second extra-base shot of the day off Sweeney. The senior second baseman nearly had herself a home run but was forced to settle for a long triple that plated two.
Brittany Schlorff (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham), who pinch ran for Lloyd, and Ford each scored on the play. With Frick's swing, the Bison were back in the game, trailing just 4-2.
The Orange and Blue's mini-burst of scoring came after getting behind 2-0 after two innings. Sweeney was as effective at the plate as she was in the pitchers' circle, claiming the RBI with a single down the right line in the first inning. Carly Potock singled in Lehigh's next run of the day in the second inning.
The fourth inning brought more RBIs for Sweeney, as she singled in two more teammates with the bases loaded and two outs. Through four, Lehigh held the 4-0 advantage.
Despite the bases loaded trouble for the Bison, Katie McDonald (York, Pa./West York Area) recovered for a smooth fifth, retiring the side. The boost was just what the doctor ordered, as Bucknell responded with their two runs.
Lehigh added its final two runs in the sixth inning on a two-RBI single from Alisha Gonzales with two outs. The hit marked the end of the day for McDonald. With Jane Messersmith (Newport Beach, Calif./Newport Harbor) now pitching, she had been the designated player previously, the Bison got out of the inning without further damage. Messersmith faced just one batter in the sixth, getting the Mountain Hawks to pop out to second.
Bucknell threatened in its half of the sixth and seventh innings, but nothing came of the effort. Jessie Snyder (Tacoma, Wash./Stadium) and Messersmith both walked in the sixth, and Lloyd loaded the bases with a single to left field. Ashley Carlson (Fairless Hills, Pa./Pennsbury) then singled in the seventh.
Sweeney (21-8) earned the win after allowing two runs on five hits and striking out eight. McDonald (9-12) took the loss gave up four earned runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings. The senior also struck out two.
Frick finished the day 1-for-3, while Lloyd and Carlson each hit 2-for-3. Carlson added a double in the third for Bucknell's first base runner of the day.