Posted: April 6, 2008
EASTON, Pa. – Rivals Lehigh and Lafayette wrapped up their four game series by splitting a doubleheader Sunday at Metzgar Fields. Junior Lisa Sweeney homered and struck out eight Leopards to lead the Mountain Hawks to a 7-2 win in the opener, while the Leopards held off Lehigh 9-7 in a wild, high-scoring affair to take the nightcap and earn the split. The Mountain Hawks now stand at 25-8 overall and 6-2 in the Patriot League. Lafayette’s two wins in the series marked the first time since 2004 that Lehigh has dropped two games in a Patriot League regular season.
Sweeney led the way for the Brown and White in the opener, picking up her 14th victory of the season, while driving in three runs at the plate. Lafayette opened the scoring in the second inning with a run on a Robyn Matchett sacrifice fly. The Mountain Hawks pulled even in the third when Sweeney singled home freshman Carly Potock, and raced ahead in the fourth with five runs off of Lafayette pitching.
The Mountain Hawks loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a single by senior Megan Conrad. With two outs, junior Whitney Lowe drilled a bases-clearing double to right center, giving the Mountain Hawks a 4-1 lead. Sweeney followed by belting an Ali Henry offering over the fence in left field for her fifth home run of the year, which put Lehigh up 6-1.
Kasey Karr hit her third home run in two days off Sweeney in the sixth to pull the Leopards within four at 6-2, but the Mountain Hawks tacked on one final run in the seventh when sophomore Amy Piccinich singled home freshman Mickey LaValley.
In the circle, Sweeney allowed two runs on five hits, while striking out eight and walking three. Sweeney improves to 14-2 on the season. Christine Hilcken went the first three and a third innings for Lafayette and takes the loss, falling to 1-4 on the year.
Game two was highlighted by big innings as each team put together a six run frame. The Leopards (11-15, 4-4 PL) raced out to a 3-0 lead on a first inning two run single from Karr, and a second inning RBI single from Stacey Kushner, but Lehigh responded with six runs on six hits in the top of the third inning. Senior Kate Marvel doubled home freshman Carly Potock, and then came around to score on a single by Lowe. With one out, Piccinich tied the game with an RBI single up the middle that scored Sweeney. At that point Henry relieved Karr in the circle and proceeded to throw a wild pitch, which allowed junior Alisha Gonzales to score the go-ahead run. Lehigh tacked on two more runs, on an RBI single by sophomore Brooke Lewis and a second wild pitch by Henry to take a 6-3 lead.
Lafayette responded with a two-out six run rally in the bottom of the fourth inning. For the second straight day the Leopards got to Lehigh sophomore Tiffany Curtis. A single and a fielder’s choice plated the first two runs for Lafayette, before Karr gave the Leopards the lead with a two run double to right center. Two more RBI hits by the Leopards chased Curtis from the game and gave Lafayette the lead for good.
Lehigh added one final run on a fifth inning RBI single by Marvel, but could get no closer and had to settle for a doubleheader and series split.
Each team collected 12 hits in the nightcap, with Marvel, Lowe, Gonzales and Potock collecting two apiece for Lehigh. Kushner ripped three hits for the Leopards, while Karr drove in four runs.
Curtis took the loss in the circle for Lehigh, allowing all nine runs in three and two-thirds innings as she falls to 10-6 on the season. Henry earned the win for Lafayette in relief of Karr, improving to 5-6.
Despite the four-game split Lehigh sits atop the Patriot League standings at 6-2, one game ahead of Bucknell, which took three-of-four games from Colgate this weekend. The Bison will visit Lehigh for four games next weekend at Kaufman Field.
The Mountain Hawks will return to action on Tuesday when they welcome Villanova to Kaufman Field for a non-league doubleheader. First pitch for game one is set for 3 p.m.