Posted: April 12, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh opened the Patriot League portion of its home schedule by splitting a doubleheader with Bucknell Saturday afternoon at Kaufman Field. Both games went into extra innings, and it was freshman Carly Potock’s bases loaded single in the eighth that led the Mountain Hawks to a 2-1 win in the opener. Game two saw Bucknell erase a 7-2 deficit before the Bison plated seven runs in the eighth to win the nightcap 15-8. With the split, Lehigh is now 26-10-1 overall, 7-3 in the Patriot League. The Bison improve to 15-22 overall, and remain a game behind Lehigh in the league standings at 6-4.
Behind a dominant pitching performance from Lisa Sweeney, the Mountain Hawks appeared to be cruising in game one. Sweeney carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, while driving in the game’s first run on a first inning single that scored senior Kate Marvel. Bucknell’s Ashley Carlson broke up the no-hitter with a single down the left field line with two outs in the sixth.
The Mountain Hawks entered the seventh inning with a 1-0 lead but failed to capitalize on several quality chances to build on that lead. The Bison capitalized on two Lehigh errors in the seventh to tie the game on an unearned run on a single by Elyse Colmenero.
The game remained tied into the bottom of the eighth, when Lehigh loaded the bases on a hit, a Bucknell error and a walk, before Potock drove home sophomore Brooke Lewis to give Lehigh the win.
Sweeney picked up her 15th win of the season, and 60th of her career in the circle, allowing just an unearned run on four hits while striking out 12 and walking two. Katie McDonald took the loss for Bucknell.
Lehigh out hit Bucknell 9-4 in game one, but the Mountain Hawks left 12 runners on base.
The nightcap proved to be a wild, see-saw affair, with the teams combining for 23 runs, 29 hits, 10 errors and 14 runners left on base.
The visiting Bison struck first with two runs off of Lehigh starter Tiffany Curtis in the top of the first, but the Mountain Hawks came roaring back with a seven-run second inning to take a 7-2 lead.
Lehigh tied the game at two when Curtis, in her first career at-bat reached on an error by Bucknell starter Christie Wiest, which allowed Potock and junior Kristyn Kubiak to score. Three batters later, junior Whitney Lowe put Lehigh ahead with a bases loaded, RBI single. Sweeney then followed with a two-run double to right, and junior Alisha Gonzales followed her with a two-run single through the right side.
Bucknell climbed within 7-3 when Ashley Beans homered in the fourth, and the Bison capitalized on several Lehigh defensive miscues to take an 8-7 lead with five runs in the sixth inning. The Bison plated their first two runs on a hit, a Lehigh error, an RBI single by Carlson, and a wild pitch by Curtis.
With runners on second and third and nobody out, Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan summoned Sweeney out of the bullpen, but Sweeney couldn’t match her effectiveness from game one. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Erin Curatola made it 7-6, and Bucknell later took the lead as two runs scored on a single by Colmenero.
The Mountain Hawks pulled even at 8-8 in the bottom of the sixth scoring an unearned run when senior Taryn Hanley singled home Marvel, who reached on an error. Lehigh had several chances to win the game in the bottom of the seventh, but Curtis was thrown out at the plate on a fielder’s choice, and Gonzales struck out swinging with the bases loaded and two outs.
The eighth inning belonged to Bucknell as the Bison tagged Sweeney for seven runs in the frame. A one-out double by Cassie Lloyd put the Bison ahead, and Bucknell added six more runs highlighted by a three-run bases-clearing triple by Beans.
Bucknell used three pitchers in the game, with McDonald returning in the sixth inning to secure the final seven outs. McDonald earned the win, improving to 7-10 on the season. Colmenero and Beans each had four hit games for the Bison, who out hit Lehigh 18-11 and won despite committing six errors.
Sweeney suffered just her third loss of the season, allowing eight runs (five earned) on eight hits in 2.2 innings of work.
Lehigh and Bucknell will wrap up this critical four game series with two games on Sunday, with first pitch for game one set for noon from Kaufman Field. The doubleheader will be broadcast online at Lehighsports.com with streaming audio powered by Yahoo! Sports.