LEWISBURG, Pa. – The Lehigh softball team opened up Patriot League play by sweeping a doubleheader from defending tournament champion Bucknell Saturday at Becker Field. The Mountain Hawks won the opener 2-1 despite mustering just two hits and then pounded out 13 hits in a 7-5 nightcap win. With the sweep the Mountain Hawks improve to 15-13 overall and 2-0 in the Patriot League.
Bucknell (7-21, 0-2 Patriot League) opened the scoring in game one as Alison Ford homered to left center off of sophomore Rebecca Bliss. Ford finished with three of Bucknell’s six hits, but it would be the only run of the game for the Bison as Bliss struck out four and walked one in seven innings to earn her seventh win of the season.
The Mountain Hawks took the lead with two runs in the top of the fifth inning. Junior Tenley Halaquist led off the inning with a single through the right side. A sacrifice bunt and a fly out moved her to third with two outs. Junior Audra Wood then hit a ground ball to shortstop and an error by Jessie Snyder allowed Halaquist to score the tying run. Senior Alex Cueva then followed with a triple to right field, scoring Wood with the go-ahead run. Cueva two of Lehigh’s three hits in the opener.
Bliss worked around leadoff singles in the fifth and sixth innings and retired the Bison in order in the seventh to close out the win. Bridget Gates took the loss for Bucknell, allowing three hits and two unearned runs.
Cueva propelled Lehigh to a fast start in the nightcap with a one-out double in the top of the first. Two batters later, Cueva scored on a sacrifice fly to right off the bat of sophomore Liz Lucas.
Lehigh’s lead was short-lived as Bucknell answered with three runs off freshman Ashley Quigley in the bottom of the first. Ford was once again the catalyst for the Bison as she hit her second home run of the day, a three-run shot to give Bucknell a 3-1 advantage after one inning.
The Mountain Hawks rallied to take the lead scoring three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. Lucas opened the fourth with a double to right center and junior Jen Colquhoun followed with an RBI single that scored pinch-runner Kristen Mitchell. Three batters later sophomore Jacqi Kennelly doubled to left to score Halaquist with the tying run. Lehigh took the lead when Wood reached on a fielder’s choice, allowing senior Carly Potock to score from third.
Cueva opened the fifth with a single through the right side and came around to score on a double to right by Lucas. With two outs, Halaquist brought home Lucas with a triple to center and then came in to score Lehigh’s seventh run on a double to right center by Halaquist.
Bucknell climbed back within two with two runs in the fifth on a wild pitch and a RBI groundout, but it was as close as the Bison would get.
Quigley earned the win for Lehigh allowing five runs on seven hits in seven innings. She walked one and struck out two Bison to improve to 6-7. Alex MacLean took the loss for Bucknell as she falls to 4-12.
Lehigh and Bucknell will wrap-up their series with a doubleheader on Sunday. First pitch for game one is set for 12 p.m. from Becker Field.