Posted: April 20, 2008
WORCESTER, Mass. – It was a banner afternoon for Lehigh junior Lisa Sweeney, who hit three home runs and became the Patriot League’s career and single-season strikeout leader as the Mountain Hawks split a doubleheader with Holy Cross Sunday afternoon at Freshman Field. Sweeney homered twice and struck out eleven as Lehigh throttled the Crusaders 12-0 in the opener, but her two run blast in the nightcap accounted for the Mountain Hawks’ only runs in a 3-2 Holy Cross win.
Sweeney entered Sunday four strikeouts shy of the career strikeout record held by former Lehigh standout Emily Ling ’05, and five K’s shy of the single-season record of 228, which Sweeney set as a freshman in 2006. In game one Sweeney fired a four-hit shutout, her seventh of the year, and did not walk a batter while striking out eleven. She tied the career record with a third inning strikeout of Keeley Seniuk and then fanned Kelly O’Neil and Mandy Correale to capture sole ownership of both records. With the victory, Sweeney is now 19-3 and has 64 career victories, one behind the Lehigh and Patriot League record also owned by Ling. Sweeney finished the day with 234 strikeouts this season and 617 for her career.
Offensively, Sweeney helped Lehigh build a 5-0 lead after three innings with a solo shot leading off the second and a three-run blast in the third. Freshman Alex Cueva added an RBI double, which scored senior Kate Marvel.
Lehigh scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, before pulling away with five runs in the seventh. Marvel and freshman Carly Potock delivered RBI singles in the frame, while sophomore Brooke Lewis ripped a two-run double. Lewis and Marvel were each 3-for-5 in game one to pace the Brown and White.
Caitlin Belanger took the loss for Holy Cross as she falls to 1-5.
Game two featured substantially less offense as the teams combined for just five runs on 13 hits. The Crusaders took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as O’Neil singled home Erin Fleming.
The Mountain Hawks claimed the lead in the third inning as Sweeney hit a two-run home run, her third of the day and eleventh of the season to put the visitors up 2-1. The lead was short-lived however, as Seniuk drilled a two-run homer off sophomore Tiffany Curtis in the bottom of the third inning. Lehigh was held in check from there, as Amanda Audette and Katie Alexander held the Mountain Hawks to just two base runners in the final four innings.
Audette earned the win, going the first four innings allowing two runs on four hits as she improves to 3-6. Curtis yielded three runs on eight hits while striking out five and walking two as she falls to 11-8.
With the split, Lehigh is now 31-13-1 on the season and 11-5 in the Patriot League. The Mountain Hawks find themselves in the unfamiliar spot of second place in the league standings, as Lafayette took over the top spot with a four-game sweep of Colgate. Lehigh will host Colgate next weekend in the final series of the regular season, while Lafayette travels to Army for four games.
Holy Cross is now 7-24, 3-9.
The Mountain Hawks will return to action on Tuesday when they host Princeton in a non-league doubleheader beginning at 3:30 p.m. from Kaufman Field.