Posted: April 2, 2008
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – Two of the top teams in the northeast played a doubleheader on the softball diamond on Wednesday and CAA power Hofstra came away with two tightly contested wins over Lehigh at the Hofstra Softball Stadium. Casey Fee hit a walk-off inside-the-park home run to lead the Pride to a 2-1 win in eight innings in game one, while a three-run fourth propelled Hofstra to a 3-1 win in the nightcap. The sweep snaps Lehigh’s six game winning streak and drops the Mountain Hawks to 23-6 on the season.
Game one began as a pitcher’s duel between Lehigh junior Lisa Sweeney and Hofstra’s Courtney Oliver. The Pride took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a pair of infield singles, a stolen base and a passed ball. Oliver’s infield hit to shortstop scored Fee to put the hosts up a run.
With both teams struggling to hit the ball out of the infield, Lehigh pulled even in the fifth inning. Freshman Sam Miller drew a one-out walk and senior Megan Conrad followed with Lehigh’s first hit, a single to shortstop. A fielder’s choice put runners on the corners, before Kate Marvel dropped a two-out bunt single scoring pinch runner Mickey LaValley to tie the game at one.
The contest remained tied into the eighth inning when Fee stepped up and drove a Sweeney offering into the gap in right centerfield. Fee raced around the bases and beat the Lehigh relay throw for her first home-run of the season.
Joanna Kralowetz came out of the bullpen to earn the win in relief, allowing just one hit in one and two-third innings of work. Sweeney was saddled with her second loss of the season, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out ten and walking five. Sweeney falls to 12-2 with the loss.
Conrad gave Lehigh a third-inning lead in game with a one-out solo home run to left field, her first homer of the season and the second of her career.
The Pride answered with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Fee and Sara Michalowski delivered back-to-back singles before Oliver struck again with a two run single to right field, to put Hofstra up 2-1. The hosts tacked on a final run when pinch runner Melissa Hodge came around to score on a throwing error by Curtis, who suffered the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits while striking out three. Curtis falls to 10-4 on the season.
Kralowetz (4-1) went the first four innings to earn the win for Hofstra before giving way to ace Kayleigh Lotti, who retired all nine Mountain Hawks she faced to earn her second save of the season.
“We pitched well and overall we played well,” said Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan. “It was the subtle differences. They do the little things exceptionally well, like taking extra bases, and that forces us to have to do those little things as well.”
Hofstra improves to 20-9 with the doubleheader sweep.
The Mountain Hawks will return to the diamond on Saturday when they travel to Easton for four games against arch rival Lafayette. The series begins with a doubleheader beginning at noon.