LEWISBURG, Pa. – Senior Alex Cueva’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth broke a 1-1 tie as the Lehigh softball team downed Bucknell 3-1 in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday at Becker Field. The Mountain Hawks could not hold a 3-0 lead in the nightcap however, as the Bison rallied for a 5-3 win and a doubleheader split. Lehigh took three out of four games from Bucknell in its Patriot League opening series to improve to 16-14 on the season.
Lehigh, the designated home team for Sunday’s doubleheader took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning of game one as junior Tenley Halaquist drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk, forcing home junior Audra Wood.
Bucknell pulled even in the top of the sixth on a two-out, pinch-hit RBI double by Elyse Colmenero scored Caryn Connors from second base.
In the bottom of the sixth sophomore Jacqi Kennelly led off with a double to left field. Kennelly moved to third on a ground out. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases, and Cueva’s fly ball to center scored Kennelly to put the Mountain Hawks up 2-1. Junior Julie Fernandez followed with a single through the left side, scoring freshman Jess Long with a crucial insurance run.
Sophomore Rebecca Bliss was solid in the pitcher’s circle en route to her eighth win of the season. Bliss allowed a run on five hits in seven innings, walking one and striking out two as she improves to 8-3 on the season. Bridget Gates fell to 3-10 with the loss for Bucknell.
Looking for the series sweep, the Mountain Hawks started strong in game two, plating two runs in the bottom of the second on a pinch-hit two-run single by Kennelly. Lehigh extended its lead to 3-0 in the third as sophomore Liz Lucas led off with a double to left and then scored on a single to right by junior Jen Colquhoun.
Lucas led Lehigh in the nightcap, going 4-for-4 at the plate. Her two doubles, give her 14 for the season, just one off the Lehigh single-season record.
Bucknell (8-22, 1-3) pulled even scoring three runs on four straight hits in the top of the fifth. Alison Ford singled home Bucknell’s first run before pinch hitter Kara Sullivan brought home the tying runs with a double to left center off freshman Kelsey Lee.
The Bison took the lead scoring two unearned runs in the top of the seventh as Ford and Lauren Fry scored on a fielding error by Fernandez. Lehigh put the tying runs on base in the bottom of the inning but senior Carly Potock grounded in to a fielder’s choice to end the game.
Lee allowed three runs on ten hits in five innings for the Mountain Hawks, while classmate Ashley Quigley took the loss allowing the two unearned runs on two hits in two innings of work. Lehigh pitchers struck out six in the nightcap and did not issue any walks. Gates earned the win for Bucknell in relief of Alex MacLean with 2.2 innings of scoreless relief.
The Mountain Hawks will wrap-up their eight game road trip on Wednesday when they travel to Princeton for a doubleheader. First pitch for game one is set from 3 p.m. from Class of 1895 Field.