April 15, 2008
LEWISBURG, Pa. -
The Bucknell softball team will wrap up the non-league portion of its schedule Wednesday when it hosts Towson in a doubleheader that will begin at 3:30 p.m. The twinbill will mark the first two games of a 10-game stretch where the Bison will play at home. Bucknell owns a solid 6-3 mark on its home surface this season.
Bucknell Softball Notebook (15-24, 6-6 PL)
Bucknell has won 15 games this year, equaling its win total from all of 2007. The last time the Bison posted more than 16 victories in a season was 2001.
Bucknell defeated Lehigh 15-8 in an eight inning game on Saturday, marking its first regular-season win over the Mountain Hawks since 2001. The Bison had lost 30 of 31 games against Lehigh in between regular-season victories. The lone win during that span came in the 2005 Patriot League Tournament.
Freshman Elyse Colmenero has been on an offensive tear of late, registering hits in 14 of her last 15 games played. She is hitting .292 with one home run and 14 RBIs. Her current four-game hitting streak is the longest by any member of the Bison.
Bucknell's top two hitters - Lauren Fry and Colmenero - are freshmen, while four of the top five are rookies. The only non-freshman among the top five hitters on the team is sophomore Mary Pavlovich, who is hitting a solid .282 to rank third on the squad.
Junior Ashley Beans hit .529 in five games last week. Among her nine hits were five that went for extra bases. In the first 314 at bats of her career, she had 10 extra-base hits. Last week she had five in 17 at bats. Included among her hits last week was a three-run triple in the eighth inning of a 15-8 victory over Lehigh and her second career home run. Beans also scored four runs and did not make an error in 11 chances in the outfield.
Fry is putting together an outstanding freshman campaign, leading the team in hitting at .323 with one home run, 17 RBI and eight doubles. Fry's team-high 25 runs scored rank second in the Patriot League and place her four shy of breaking into the program's top-10 list.
Senior Erin Curatola leads the Bison with 28 RBIs, which also paces the Patriot League. She ranks ninth on the Bucknell single-season list and is just seven shy of equaling the program record. Curatola also leads Bucknell with 34 hits this year, vaulting her career total to 138, which places her 10th on the program's career ledger.
Junior pitcher Katie McDonald appeared in four of Bucknell's five games last week and posted a 2-2 record with a 2.14 ERA. She picked up a pair of wins in relief to bring her season record to 7-11. The seven victories are more than she had her first two years in Orange and Blue. McDonald did not allow more than one run in any of her 19.2 innings pitched last week. She did not allow a run in her 6.1 innings of relief work.
Senior pitcher Christie Wiest is on the verge of breaking Bucknell's career innings pitched and strikeouts records. She has 512.2 innings pitched in her career, 10.0 behind Sharon Nichols' record. Wiest also has 329 career strikeouts, just three behind Nichols for the all-time lead in that category.
Bucknell has seen its offensive output increase significantly over 2007. The Bison scored 175 runs in 49 games last spring for an average of 3.6 runs per game. This year, Bucknell already has tallied 174 runs in 39 games for an average of 4.5 runs per game. The Bison are outscoring their opponents by seven runs this season, the first time they have held an advantage over their opponents since 1996 when they had a 24-run edge (271-247).
Bucknell currently owns a 6-3 home record. The victory total is three more than it had all of last year and marks its most home wins since posting a 10-8 home mark in 2006.
Bucknell lists third in the Patriot League standings with a 6-6 conference mark. Just twice since 2001 has a team that won at least eight league games failed to make the Patriot League Tournament, meaning the Bison are in good position to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2005.
Bucknell vs. Towson
Bucknell is 18-32 all-time against Towson. The two teams have met in a doubleheader every year since 1997. The Tigers have won seven of the last eight meetings over the last four years, including doubleheader sweeps each of the last two years.
Towson is hitting .282 this year and four players are hitting at least .300, led by Nina Navarro's .350. The top four hitters on the team also have at least two home runs with Aimee Rosa leading the way with six.
Towson owns a 2.77 ERA and pitchers Claire Rietmann-Grout (10) and Shannon Johnston (13) have combined for 23 of the Tigers' 25 victories.
Towson is 25-18 overall this year and is 8-3 in Colonial Athletic Association play. It is one-half game behind Hofstra in the conference standings and swept a three-game series from Delaware last weekend.
2008 Bucknell Weekly Honors
Patriot League Player of the Week:
- Alison Ford (3/24), Mary Pavlovich (4/7)
Patriot League Rookie of the Week:
- Lauren Fry (3/17, 3/31, 4/7)
ECAC Player of the Week:
- Alison Ford (3/26)
Bucknell will return to Patriot League play this weekend when it hosts Army in a four-game series. Saturday's doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m. and Sunday's first pitch is slated for 12 p.m. The Bison are 23-35 all-time against the Black Knights, but claimed three of four in a series at West Point, N.Y., last April.
Bucknell's Schedule this Week
Wednesday, April 16
Towson at Bucknell (DH), 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 19
Army at Bucknell (DH), 1 p.m.
Sunday, April 20
Army at Bucknell (DH), 12 p.m.