Posted: April 24, 2010
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan picked up his 500th career victory as Lehigh used an eight-run fourth inning to rally past Bucknell 9-1 in six innings in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday at Kaufman Field. The Mountain Hawks had to settle for a split however, as Shelly McCormack drove in four runs to lead the Bison to a 5-1 win in the nightcap. With the split Lehigh is now 26-16 while Bucknell is 22-13-1. Both teams remain tied for second place in the league standings at 9-5, two games behind league-leading Army.
“We played very well in game one,” said Troyan. “The second game we didn’t play well at all. Lately it’s kind of been a tale of two cities for us. Hopefully we’ll be able to right the ship and put two strong games together back-to-back.”
Senior Tiffany Curtis matched zeroes with Bucknell freshman Bridget Gates through the first three innings. The Bison took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth on a solo home run by Sherry Finkel but the Mountain Hawks battled back and got to Gates in the bottom of the frame.
With runners on second and third and one out, senior Lauren Eichblatt singled to shortstop, allowing sophomore Hana Harrison to score the tying run. Senior Brooke Lewis pinch hit and hit a slow ground ball to short, and freshman Liz Lucas beat Alyssa Okita’s throw home to put Lehigh in front. Freshman Rosie Roessel was hit by a pitch, which loaded the bases for sophomore Audra Wood, who doubled down the left field line to score two runs and put the Mountain Hawks up 4-1. Junior Alex Cueva then followed with a single to left that plated two more runs.
Sophomore Julie Fernandez tacked on another run with a single to left that scored Cueva, and then moved to second on an error by Bison left fielder Jane Messersmith. Sophomore Jen Colquhoun then hit a fly ball to left that Messersmith dropped for a two-base error, moving runners to second and third. Lucas capped the eight-run assault with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Mountain Hawks put the game away in the bottom of the sixth. Cueva led off with a double and pinch runner Kristen Mitchell moved to third when Colquhoun reached on an error. Lucas hit a ground ball to second and Mitchell beat Jessie Snyder’s throw home to score the game-ending run.
“We really blew the game open with the eight runs,” explained Troyan. “We struggled with Gates early on but we recovered, and scoring eight runs kind of opened the floodgates for us. I thought Tiffany Curtis pitched a great game and our defense was fantastic.”
Curtis picked up her 15th win of the season, allowing a run on three hits in six innings. The senior walked two and struck out two as she moves to 15-7. Gates took the loss for Bucknell allowing seven runs in 3.1 innings.
Bucknell went in front in game two on a two-out, bases loaded, two-run single by McCormack in the top of the third. Lehigh pulled within a run with a run in the bottom of the fourth on consecutive singles by Lucas and Lewis and an RBI groundout by junior Carly Potock.
The Bison added to their lead with two more runs the fifth. With one out, Curtis came out of the bullpen to relieve freshman Becca Bliss and promptly served up a two-run double to left to McCormack, which extended Bucknell’s lead to 4-1. The lead grew to 5-1 when Mary Pavlovich doubled in the sixth and came around to score on a triple by Messersmith.
In the circle, Bucknell’s Alex MacLean kept the Lehigh offense at bay, allowing just the one run on seven hits in seven innings. MacLean walked three and struck out eight as she improves to 8-1. Bliss took the loss, allowing four runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings as she falls to 7-7. Cueva led Lehigh with two hits in the nightcap.
Anticipated inclement weather on Sunday has forced the postponement of the final two games of the series between Lehigh and Bucknell. Instead the teams will make up the doubleheader on a day to be determined, this week at Kaufman Field. Whenever the Mountain Hawks and Bison return to the diamond, the doubleheader will be broadcast online at Lehighsports.com.
Lehigh - Bucknell Post-Game Extra