May 13, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Army sophomore hurler Morgan Lashley's shutout performances in the championship series of the Patriot League Tournament earned the Black Knights their first title since 2002 and fifth overall. Selected the MVP of the tournament, Lashley tossed a nifty one-hitter and two-hitter going the distance in 4-0 and 5-0 wins, respectively, over top-seeded Lehigh in earning her third Army Athletic Association Athlete of the Week citation this spring.
Seeded second at the PLT for the second straight year, Army was forced to rally for a 4-3 win over Bucknell in the double-elimination tournament after being dispatched by top-seeded Lehigh, 8-0 (6), in a winners' bracket game earlier in the day on Friday. Lashley, who went the distance on a four-hitter with only one of the Bison's three runs earned, retired the side in the home half of the seventh after Army pulled ahead with a pair of runs in the top half of the inning.
Lashley pitched brilliantly as the Black Knights rode her arm in the Patriot League Championship series the next day in going the distance in 14 innings against two-time defending champion and top-seeded Lehigh.
After being touched for a leadoff infield single in the top of the first inning in the first game, Lashley threw hitless ball the rest of the way and issued three walks with four strikeouts in besting the league's Pitcher of the Year (Rebecca Bliss) to force the second game.
The Davidson, N.C., native hurled Army to a 5-0 victory after yielding both of her hits in the first inning of the championship game in continuing her domination of the Mountain Hawks against the same pitcher who beat her 8-0 the previous day. Lashley issued one walk and struck out two of the 24 batters she faced.
With four wins at the tournament, Lashley broke Army's all-time victory record with 62 career wins, along with moving into second place in strikeouts with 429.
The last time a team shut out Lehigh, who has won 12 Patriot League Championship titles, in a doubleheader was Delaware, 1-0 and 3-0, on March 18, 2009. The last time a Patriot League school shut out the Mountain Hawks in a twinbill was Bucknell, 1-0, 3-0, on April 19, 1998.
Morgan was one of four Black Knights named to the All-Tournament Team where she was joined by Christian McKone, Rae Anne Payleitner and Amanda Nguyen.
The Black Knights (35-24), with their third NCAA Regional bid in hand, are headed to Austin, Texas, to take on No. 4 national seed Texas Friday evening at Red & Charline McCombs Field. Houston and South Carolina round out the four-team Austin Regional field.
Army, making its third trip to the regionals and first since 2002, will open up against the Longhorns (44-8), who earned their ninth straight berth to the NCAA Tournament and 14th overall.
Game time is 7 p.m. EST and will be televised on Longhorn Network, while the Houston and South Carolina contest will be streamed live on ESPN3.
For the duration of the regional, any Texas contest will air live on LHN and all non-Texas games will be streamed on ESPN3.
The winners of the two Friday contests square off Saturday morning at 11 a.m. CT, while the two losing teams face each other Saturday at 2 p.m. CT.
Sunday's regional championship will begin at 1 p.m. CT, and the "if necessary" contest will be played at 4 p.m.