Posted: April 27, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Senior Taryn Hanley and junior Alisha Gonzales each ripped three hits to lead Lehigh to a 7-1 win over Colgate in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Kaufman Field. The win, coupled with Lafayette’s two losses at Army on Sunday clinches Lehigh’s tenth straight Patriot League regular season championship. The Mountain Hawks dropped the second game 6-4 to wrap up the regular season at 35-14-1 overall and 14-6 in league games. Lehigh will host the Patriot League tournament at Kaufman Field beginning May 8.
Hanley opened the scoring with one on and one out in the bottom of the second when she looped a base hit down the left field line that rolled into the corner allowing her to motor around the bases for an inside-the-park home run, her first of the season.
Colgate answered with a single run in the top of the fourth, on back-to-back doubles by Whitney Scott and LaPorscha Albert. In the bottom of the frame, Lehigh padded its lead with three runs, as Hanley delivered her third RBI of the game with a one out single that scored pinch-runner Ali Torborg. After senior Megan Conrad reached on an error, classmate Kate Marvel singled to left field to plate Hanley. A RBI groundout by freshman Alex Cueva scored Conrad to make it 5-1.
Gonzales closed out the scoring in the last of the sixth inning with a two-out, two-run single through the left side. Lehigh out-hit Colgate 12-6 in game one with Hanley and Gonzales combining to go 6-for-7 with five RBI for the Brown and White.
In the circle, junior Lisa Sweeney allowed just a run on six hits, while walking one and striking out nine as she earned the win and improved to 22-3 on the season.
Jesse McCarrick took the loss for Colgate and falls to 3-11.
In game two, Colgate took an early 1-0 lead on an RBI single by Ashley Rowe, before the Mountain Hawks took the lead with single runs in the second and third innings. Freshman Mickey LaValley tied the game with a two-out single in the second, which scored Hanley, and Gonzales gave Lehigh the lead with a one-out double to left field that scored Sweeney.
The Raiders raced in front behind a five-run fourth inning. Colgate tied the game on a fielder’s choice as Nicole Siedhof hit a ground ball to second that LaValley threw late to the plate allowing Albert to score. A bunt single from Kortney Hannah plated the go-ahead run and the Raiders followed with three more singles, including a two-RBI hit from Rowe and a run scoring single from Scott, which put Colgate up 6-2.
Lacy Ver Steeg kept Lehigh off the scoreboard for the next three innings before Lehigh rallied in the bottom of the seventh. Cueva opened the frame with a double down the left field line, and Sweeney followed with a long two-run home run to left field, her 13th of the season, which made it 6-4. Ver Steeg settled down and retired the next three batters on two fly outs and a ground out to earn the win and help keep the Raiders postseason aspirations alive. The freshman allowed four runs on nine hits as she improves to 5-8 on the season. Colgate is now 8-21 overall, 5-11 in the Patriot League. The Raiders need to take three-of-four games from Holy Cross this week to claim the final tournament berth.
Sophomore Tiffany Curtis went the distance in the circle for Lehigh, allowing six runs on nine hits as she falls to 12-9 with the loss.
The Mountain Hawks will return to the diamond on Thursday May 8 when they host the Patriot League tournament at Kaufman Field. Lehigh will be the No. 1 seed and will face either Army or Colgate in the opening round. The other first round match-up pits No. 2 seed Lafayette against No. 3 Bucknell.