April 13, 2013
BETHLEHEM, Pa. -
Emily Bauscher's pinch-hit game-winning single in the seventh lifted Lehigh to a 6-5 win in the opener, and she then pitched a four-hit shutout in 2-0 nightcap decision leading the Mountain Hawks to a Patriot League softball doubleheader sweep of Army Saturday at Kaufman Field.
The defending champion Mountain Hawks improved to 22-13-1 overall and 8-2 in the league, while the Black Knights slipped to 19-18 and 4-6. Lehigh leads Colgate and Holy Cross, tied for second, by two games in the league standings at the halfway point of league play.
Senior co-captain Alex Reynolds went 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored in keying Army's offense in the opener. She doubled in the Black Knights' first run of the game for a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Reynolds drove in junior Amanda Nguyen (2-for-4), who reached on a fielder's choice, as the Black Knights collected three of their 12 hits off Rebecca Bliss, the league's preseason "Pitcher of the Year," in their first at-bat. Bliss stranded runners at second and third.
That lead stood until the bottom of the third inning when the Mountain Hawks capitalized on a pair of home runs by Morgan Decker (solo) and Cassie Waggy (with a man aboard) scoring four runs to pull out to a 4-1 lead. Lehigh tacked on an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth to stretch its advantage to 5-1.
The Black Knights rallied in a four-run seventh to tie the score at 5-5 with Nguyen doubling home the first run and was one of two delivered by Reynolds' double (her second of game). Junior Marina Northup's two-out single up the middle scored Reynolds as Army knotted the score, but was stranded when Bliss nipped the rally on an infield popup.
Sophomore RHP Jules Steurer (0-1), who took over the circle from sophomore Morgan Lashley in the fifth inning, was tagged with the loss when Bauscher's walk-off single to left field delivered Decker, who drew a walk and moved around on a fielder's choice and wild pitch, with the game-winning run
In the nightcap, Bausher and freshman RHP Braetana Roy (4-7) were embroiled in a pitcher's duel over the first five innings before Lehigh was able to produce a pair of runs collecting four of their six hits off her in the bottom of the sixth with Liz Lucas, the league's preseason player of the year, doing all the damage with her two-run double.
Army's rally with a pair of hits in the seventh came up short as Bausher got out safely on a strikeout looking to preserve the shutout as she improved to 9-5.
Freshmen Kasey McCravey and Christian McKone, junior April Ortenzo and sophomore Rae Anne Payleitner collected hits in both games. Payleitner batted .600 (3-for-5) with McCravey and McKone each collecting three hits and Ortenzo two as Army outhit Lehigh 16-14.
The Black Knights will look to bounce against the Mountain Hawks Sunday in wrapping up the series with a doubleheader at noon from Kaufman Field. Live audio of the twinbill will be available at Lehighsports.com.