May 7, 2009
Bethlehem, Pa. - Top-seeded Lehigh and third-seeded Bucknell claimed victories on the opening day of the Patriot League Softball Tournament. The Mountain Hawks outlasted fourth-seeded Lafayette to pick up a 1-0 win, while Bucknell topped second-seeded Colgate in a 7-3 slugfest. Lehigh and Bucknell will meet on Friday at 11 a.m. in the winners' bracket. Colgate and Lafayette will square off in an elimination game at 1:30 p.m. Friday's third game will feature the Colgate/Lafayette winner and the Lehigh/Bucknell loser at 4 p.m.
No. 1 Lehigh 1, No. 4 Lafayette 0
Four-time Patriot League Pitcher of the Year Lisa Sweeney tossed a complete-game shutout in the opening contest to lead Lehigh (34-16-1) to the 1-0 victory over Lafayette (15-28). She surrendered just two hits and no walks while striking out five. Lafayette starter Kasey Karr was nearly as impressive in defeat. Karr allowed just one unearned run on one hit. She struck out four while walking one.
Lehigh plated the only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Freshman centerfielder Audra Wood walked to lead off the inning. Wood moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Whitney Lowe. After a groundout, Sweeney walked to put two runners on. A wild pitch moved both Wood and Sweeney into scoring position. A single by senior Alisha Gonzales, Lehigh's lone hit of the game, drove in Wood for the deciding run.
Lehigh has now won its Patriot League Tournament opener in each of the last four seasons. Lafayette is winless in its last three first-round games.
No. 3 Bucknell 7, No. 2 Colgate 3
Bucknell (19-30) built a four-run advantage, then held off a feisty Colgate (25-17) squad to move into the winners' bracket. The Bison scored two in the first and two in the fourth to stake an early 4-0 advantage. Colgate got RBI base-hits in the sixth inning from Amanda Eccleston, Stephanie Hartquist and pinch-hitter Nicole Siedhof to pull within one, but the Bison responded with three runs of their own in the top of the seventh to pull away.
Bucknell catcher Elyse Colmenero drove in three runs, while shortstop Jessie Snyder went 3-for-4 with two RBI. Freshman Jane Messersmith allowed three runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings to pick up the victory. Katie McDonald pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless relief to notch the save.
Bucknell, which did not win any of its four regular-season games against Colgate, won its third straight opening-round game in the Patriot League Tournament. Colgate has won just one first-round game in the last six years. The Raiders won their tournament opener in 2007 en route to their third Patriot League Championship.
Results and box scores for this weekend's competition can be found on the Patriot League web site on the main page as well as on the Softball Championship Page which can be accessed by clicking here.
2009 Patriot League Softball Tournament Schedule
Thursday, May 7
Game 1: No. 1 Lehigh 1, No. 4 Lafayette 0
Game 2: No. 3 Bucknell 7, No. 2 Colgate 3
Friday, May 8
Game 3: Lehigh vs. Bucknell, 11 a.m.
Game 4: Colgate vs. Lafayette, 1:30 p.m.
Game 5: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3, 4 p.m.
Saturday, May 9
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5, Noon
Game 7: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6, 2:30 p.m. (if necessary)