Softball Splits First Day DH With Lehigh

Morgan Lashley

Morgan Lashley

April 28, 2012

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WEST POINT, N.Y. - Freshman right-hander Morgan Lashley fired a four-hit shutout to become Army's all-time leader in wins with 30 as the Black Knights registered a 2-0 defeat of defending Patriot League champion Lehigh in the first game of the teams' doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the Army Softball Complex. The Black Knights became the winningest team in school history in recording their 34th win of the season, breaking the former mark of 33 they tied earlier in the week.

The Mountain Hawks rebounded to win the nightcap 6-0 behind the two-hit pitching of Rebecca Bliss as both teams remain in the hunt for the regular season Patriot League title. The Mountain Hawks (35-17, 16-2 PL), who snapped Army's 13-game win streak and 15 straight at home, need one win to clinch hosting duties for the first time since 2009. The Black Knights (34-16, 14-4 PL) need to sweep Sunday's Senior Day doubleheader to win the title.

In the series opener, Army jumped on starter Emily Bausher (16-10) for a pair of hits and both runs in the first inning. With one out, Amanda Nguyen beat out an infield hit and moved to third on Marina Northup's double to left field. After Bausher intentionally walked Alex AuBuchon to load the bases, Alex Reynolds' fielder's choice RBI scored Ortenzo. With bases still loaded following a foul ball popup, AuBuchon scored the second run when Ali Cleinmark was hit by a pitch. Bausher got out of that inning without further damage when she struck out the next batter to leave bases loaded.

Bausher, who went the distance on a four-hitter, struck out five and walked two, only twice over the final five innings allowed Army into scoring position. Northup was hit by a pitch to lead off the third and AuBuchon followed with a single, but Baushcher mowed down the side in retiring nine straight batters before issuing her final hit of the game on a leadoff single to Reynolds in the bottom of the sixth. Back-to-back outs and a walk to Rachael Duval moved Reynolds to second base, but a flyout to center field ended that threat.

Lashley, who struck out five and issued two walks going the distance on her four-hitter, worked her way out an early jam with no outs and runners at first and second in the first inning. She got out safely on a pair of strikeouts and a flyout retiring 10 straight batters and 14 of the next 15 she faced before yielding her second hit with two outs in the top of the fifth inning. Touched for a hit and a walk, she stranded the runners on a strikeout and a flyout, then left a pair of runners on base in the sixth and another at first in the seventh to preserve her 10th solo shutout and Army's 11th of the season.

Lashley tied Army Hall of Famer's Colleen McCabe's all-time record 29 wins set in 1988 when the freshman hurler picked up a pair of wins earlier in the week against Yale. She snapped it against Lehigh as Army recorded its first win over the Mountain Hawks since defeating them 6-4 in last year's series opener. Lashley headed into the week tied for first nationally with 27 wins.

Nguyen, Northup, AuBuchon and Reynolds collected Army's four hits in the first game.

Bliss dominated the nightcap retiring 12 straight batters before losing out on a perfect game in the bottom of the fifth when AuBuchon ripped her first offering to right field. Following a flyout, Reanna Johnson smacked the second hit off Bliss to left field on a 2-1 count, but the junior hurler got out of that jam on a double play en route to retiring the final seven batters she faced to improve to 16-6.

Lashley (30-12), going the distance in the nightcap, was raked for 11 hits as Lehigh scored single runs in the first two frames and boosted its 2-0 lead to 4-0 with a pair of runs in the fourth inning.

After being held hitless in three plate appearances in the first game, Julie Fernandez went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs in the nightcap to close to within three hits with 254 of becoming Lehigh's and the Patriot League's career leader. Fernandez singled home the first run of the game and doubled in another in a two-run seventh.

The Black Knights close out the four-game series Sunday with first pitch at 1 p.m. It is also the final game for seniors Alexis AuBuchon, Rachael Duval, Reanna Johnson and Clara Navarro.

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