Posted: March 22, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh opened up its home schedule on Saturday, but the normally friendly confines of Kaufman Field were unkind to the Mountain Hawks, who were swept by Fairfield in a non-league doubleheader. The Stags touched Lehigh ace Lisa Sweeney for four runs in a 4-1 win in game one, then capitalized on three seventh-inning Mountain Hawk errors to rally for a 5-4 win in the nightcap. Lehigh falls to 17-4 with the losses while Fairfield improves to 6-14.
Fairfield first baseman Breanne Morschauser was 3-for-3 of Sweeney in game one with a pair of runs batted in. Morschauser put the Stags ahead with a second inning RBI single and added another RBI single in the seventh. Julia Jacoby added an RBI double, while Jenna DiBernardo drilled a sixth inning home run to centerfield off of Sweeney, who allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits in her seven innings of work. Sweeney struck out nine in the game, but suffered her first loss of the season as she falls to 9-1. Her seventh inning strikeout of Riannon Thomas was the 500th of her career.
Offensively, Sweeney added two of Lehigh’s five hits off of winning pitcher Kelli Panter (8-1). Freshman Sam Miller accounted for Lehigh’s only run in game one by belting a solo home run, the first of her career, to right field in the seventh inning.
The Mountain Hawks fell behind 1-0 in game two, but rallied with three runs in the home half of the first inning. Sweeney tied the game with an RBI groundout, and freshman Alex Cueva and senior Taryn Hanley followed with RBI singles to put Lehigh up 3-1 after one.
Thomas brought the Stags within a run with a third inning RBI double, but Sweeney delivered again at the plate in the fifth, drilling a home run to left, her third of the season, to put the Mountain Hawks back up by two.
Things unraveled for the Brown and White in the top of the seventh as three Lehigh miscues led to three unearned runs for Fairfield. With one out, Morschauser reached on an error by Cueva. The next batter, pinch hitter Allie Ritacco reached on an error by senior second baseman Megan Conrad. Jacoby struck again with her second RBI double of the game to bring the Stags within one, and then Fairfield tied the game on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Thomas. A wild pitch advanced Jacoby to third, and after a walk, Jacoby came in to score the go-ahead run as Conrad made a fielding error on a ball hit by DiBernardo.
In the bottom of the seventh, Lehigh had the tying run on second base with two outs, but junior Alisha Gonzales flied out to centerfield to end the ballgame. Sarah Minice (3-4) earned the win for the Stags allowing four runs on nine hits while striking out three. Tiffany Curtis was saddled with the loss after allowing five runs (two earned) on five hits, while walking four and striking out seven. Curtis falls to 7-3 on the year.
Senior Kate Marvel and sophomore Amy Piccinich added two hits apiece for the Brown and White, who dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season.
The Mountain Hawks will return to the diamond on Tuesday when they host a doubleheader against Penn. First pitch for game one is set for 3 p.m. from Kaufman Field.