Posted: May 13, 2010
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Jane Messersmith drilled a two-out two-run triple to right field in the top of the seventh as Bucknell rallied for a 4-3 win over Lehigh in a back-and-forth affair Friday in the opening game of the Patriot League tournament at the Army Softball Complex. Freshman Rosie Roessel put Lehigh in front with a fifth-inning RBI single, but the Bison rallied to take the lead in the seventh and then Alex MacLean retired the Mountain Hawks in order in the bottom of the frame to end the game.
“I take my hat off to Bucknell,” said Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan. “They played a great, clean game and they deserved to win. We had one out in the seventh and they hit a two-hopper to second base that we didn’t handle. Instead of two out nobody on they got two runners on and we couldn’t close the deal.”
With the loss, Lehigh falls to 31-18 and the Mountain Hawks will play an elimination game Friday afternoon, needing four straight wins to capture their sixth tournament title in the last seven years.
Bucknell improves to 25-17-1 and will play in a winner’s bracket game on Friday.
The No. 3 seed Bison went in front with an unearned run in the top of the first inning as Lauren Fry led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice and third on a passed ball before scoring on a groundout by Messersmith.
Lehigh went in front for the first time in the bottom of the second as freshman Liz Lucas reached on a one-out single to right field and then junior Carly Potock belted a two-run home run to left, her fourth of the season, which put the Brown and White in front 2-1..
Bucknell tied the game in the fourth on a two-out opposite-field single by Jessie Snyder that scored Elyse Colmenero.
Senior Tiffany Curtis started in the circle for Lehigh and pitched out of trouble in the early innings with minimal damage. She helped herself in the bottom of the fifth when she led off with a triple to right field. Roessel followed with a single through the left side that scored Curtis with the go-ahead run.
With one out in the top of the seventh, Alyssa Okita’s ground ball to second base was mishandled by sophomore Tenley Halaquist allowing the tying run to reach base. Fry followed with a single to left center to get on base as the go-ahead run. A ground out to first base moved the runners to second and third and Messersmith hit a 3-2 pitch from Curtis to the fence in right to give the Bison the lead.
In the bottom of the inning, MacLean, the league’s Rookie of the Year retired the side in order with defensive help from third baseman Mary Pavlovich and first baseman Alison Ford.
MacLean allowed three runs on seven hits for Bucknell to improve to 10-4 on the season. Curtis took the loss for Lehigh allowing four runs, just one of which was earned, on seven hits as she falls to 17-9. Both pitchers recorded three strikeouts.
Fry led Bucknell at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored, while Potock was the only Mountain Hawk to record multiple hits as she went 2-for-3.
“I told the team sometimes you have to win four games to win this thing,” said Troyan. “It’s hard enough to win three in a row. The good thing about the losers bracket is you know what lies in front of you.”
Lehigh will now play in an elimination game against the loser of the Army-Colgate game Friday at 2:30 p.m. The game can be heard on WLVR-FM (91.3) and Lehighsports.com with pregame coverage beginning at 2:15.
Lehigh - Bucknell Patriot League Tournament Post-Game Extra