Softball Loses Three of Four to Bucknell

Colgate’s 2008 Patriot League season began on an inauspicious note. Despite a game-winning homer from junior Tiana Tyeskey in the first game of last Sunday’s doubleheader against Bucknell, the Raiders dropped three of four games to the Bison in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania over a two-day period last weekend. Also, Binghamton University rallied in the sixth inning to edge the Raiders 8-7 in a non-league game on Wednesday, April 2.

The Raiders’ one win last weekend was one for the books. Bucknell held a 3-0 lead going into the fifth inning, but Colgate scored six times in the top half of the frame. Tyeskey’s bunt single brought home classmate Calla Yee. Ashley Rowe tied the game with a two-run single, scoring Tyeskey and junior Kortney Hannah. First-year Nicole Siedhof put the Raiders ahead with a two-out single before first-year Maddy Shufelt capped off the rally with her first collegiate homerun to left.

The Bison forced extra innings by scoring two runs in the bottom of the frame and one more in the sixth. With one out in the eighth, Tyeskey homered to left off Christie Wiest (8-10). As with Shufelt’s blast, it was the first of her Raider career. Rowe then singled and eventually came around to make it 8-6 when Siedhof reached on an error by shortstop Kristin Frick. First-year Lacy Ver Steeg worked around a single and hit batsman to secure the hard-fought win in the bottom of the eighth.

“I felt comfortable at the plate this weekendbut the home run was a surprise to me,” Tyeskey said. “I usually hit singles so having a big hit felt good.Ican’t say Ireally think of it asthe game winning hit,as we had multiple hits that we strung together to produce the runs that we needed. My hitjust happened to belater in the game.”

Ver Steeg (2-4) held Bucknell scoreless over 2-1/3 innings of work, yielding three hits and one walk, while striking out two. Sophomore Jesse McCarrick yielded six runs on 11 hits and a walk before giving way to Ver Steeg in the sixth.

Rowe got the day’s finale off to a good start for the Raiders, doubling home Tyeskey in the first. However, the Bison’s first turn at-bat produced three runs off Ver Steeg, aided by a Colgate error and two hits, one of them a triple by Cassie Lloyd. Bucknell tacked on one more run in the next frame. Although Colgate pulled back a run in its half of the third, Sherry Finkel broke open the game with a two-run single to center in the bottom of the frame off Rowe, who replaced Ver Steeg with one out and runners on first and second. Colgate scored two more runs in the fourth and another pair in the seventh, but Bucknell scored one in the fourth, three in the fifth, and one in the sixth to pull away and win 11-6. Rowe recorded her second RBI of the game in the final inning on a one-out single. Ver Steeg was charged with two earned runs in 2-1/3 innings, while Rowe and McCarrick each yielded one in relief. Colgate’s defense let the team down, as two errors helped produce seven unearned runs. Bucknell’s Katie McDonald (5-9) went the distance, giving up five earned runs on seven hits, walking two and striking out the same number of batters.

The Bison swept Saturday’s doubleheader, 5-0 and 8-3. In the series opener, Wiest was perfect through 4-2/3 before Siedhof doubled to left. She eventually settled for a five-hitter, fanning six Colgate hitters in the process. Bucknell scored four runs in the first against McCarrick, which proved to be more than enough.

Bucknell scored seven runs in the fifth inning of the nightcap to erase a Colgate lead. Colgate had drawn first blood as senior LaPorscha Albert scored when Ashley Carlson dropped Jessi Bentovoja’s two-out fly ball to right in the second. One inning later, junior Brandy Godfrey doubled home Tyeskey and senior Whitney Scott, making it 3-0. But four hits, two hit batsmen and wild pitches off both Ver Steeg and McCarrick in the fifth ultimately ended Colgate’s chance of splitting the doubleheader.

The Raiders made a valiant comeback against Binghamton, only to fall just short. Down 6-1 after three innings, Colgate scored four times in the top of the fourth. Two Bearcat errors and Hannah’s two-run double brought the Raiders’ bats to life. The team than grabbed the lead in the sixth. First-year Brittany Hanrahan’s first collegiate homer tied the game, and Shufelt doubled in Hannah to make it 7-6. Unfortunately for Colgate and McCarrick, who relieved Ver Steeg in the second, Binghamton’s Deannie Plemon put the Bearcats ahead for good in the bottom of the frame by smacking a two-run homer to left center with one out.

Weather permitting, the Raiders (4-11, 1-3 PL) return to Eaton Street Field on Saturday at noon for a doubleheader against Army (7-27, 3-5 PL). The teams play another twinbill on Sunday afternoon.

“We can beat Army butit is a matter ofplaying hard every inning,” Tyeskey said. “The last couple of games we have either struggled with our defense or struggled with our offense. We need to focus andcome together as a team.”