Posted: March 14, 2008
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Lehigh opened play at the Maryland Spring Break Classic with a split of its two games Friday at Taylor Stadium. The Mountain Hawks saw their five game winning streak come to an end as UMBC blanked Lehigh 3-0 in the opener, but junior Lisa Sweeney fired a complete game two-hit shutout to lead the Brown and White to a 1-0 win over Valparaiso in the second game of the day. With the split, Lehigh is now 14-2 on the season.
“Lisa (Sweeney) is throwing as well as ever, but we can’t take any at-bats off defensively,” said Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan. “We swung the bat better in the second game, but we need to understand that the first inning is just as important as any other.”
Sweeney continued her dominance in the pitchers circle, striking out ten Crusaders in seven innings to pick up her eighth win of the season, and helped prevent Lehigh from its first losing streak of the season. The junior right hander beat Valparaiso for the second time this season, and did not allow a run against the Crusaders in 15 innings of work.
The Mountain Hawks plated their only run in the first inning by taking advantage of the wildness of Valparaiso starter Jill Jacobson, who walked four batters in the first inning. Junior Alisha Gonzales drew the fourth free pass, which came with the bases loaded and two outs, allowing freshman Carly Potock to score. Sweeney took care of the rest, allowing just the two hits and racking up her sixth double-digit strikeout game of the season, while adding one of Lehigh’s two hits. Junior Ali Torborg had the other, a fifth inning bunt single.
Earlier in the day, Lehigh was held at bay by UMBC starter Ashley Gray, who went the distance of a five-hit shutout for her first win of the season. The Retrievers scored twice in the second inning on RBI singles from Lynn Pronobis and Lauren Brummell, and added a sixth inning solo home run from Amanda Fefel. The Mountain Hawks left nine runners on base, and threatened in the top of the seventh inning, putting runners at second and third with one out, but Potock popped out to shortstop and Sweeney flied out to right to end the game.
Sophomore Tiffany Curtis suffered the loss, allowing three runs on six hits in six innings, while striking out ten. She falls to 5-2 on the season.
The Mountain Hawks will continue play at the Maryland Spring Break Classic on Saturday, with games against Saint Peter’s at 9 a.m. and host No. 23 Maryland at 1 p.m.