May 9, 2013
WEST POINT, NY. - -
Designated player Bernadette Cardon drove in a pair of runs in a three-run second and No. 2-seeded Army held on to defeat No. 3 Bucknell, 3-2, in an opening round game at the Patriot League Tournament hosted by Lehigh at Kaufman Field Thursday afternoon.
The Black Knights (32-23), winning their tournament opener for the second straight year and 14th overall, advance to Friday's 10 a.m. winners' bracket game of the double-elimination to take on top-seeded Lehigh (36-14-1), a 3-1 winner over No. 4 Colgate.
Army exploded for three runs after capitalizing on five hits and a walk in the bottom of the second inning with one out. The Black Knights loaded the bases on three straight singles by Marina Northup, April Ortenzo and Rae Anne Payleitner to set the stage for Cardon. The freshman took a 2-1 count from starter Amanda Fazio and ripped a single to right field scoring Northup and Ortenzo.
Ali Cleinmark's single to left field reloaded the bases with Army's final run scored by Payleitner when Amanda Nguyen drew a bases-loaded walk off Fazio.
The Bison turned a double play to end the inning and Fazio retired the side in the third and fourth innings before Army threatened again in the fifth after Bucknell cut the Black Knights lead to 3-2 with a pair of runs in the fourth inning.
Reliever Donna Nielsen worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning with a force at home plate and flyout, then stranded a runner at second base in the sixth.
After yielding a pair of runs in the fourth inning, Army's Morgan Lashley (26-11) did not allow a Bison in scoring position over the final three frames as she stranded a runner in each at first base following an error, a hit batsman and single.
Army closed out its regular-season series with Lehigh defeating the Mountain Hawks in a come-from-behind 5-4 win. Lehigh won the first three games of the series, 6-5, 2-0 and 3-2.