Posted: March 1, 2009
KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Lehigh opened up action at the Rebel Spring Games by splitting its first two games on Sunday afternoon. Junior Tiffany Curtis fired a three-hit shutout to lead the Mountain Hawks to a 3-0 win over Fairfield in Sunday’s first game, but in game two Niagara mounted a seventh inning rally to tie the game and went on to beat Lehigh 4-3 in eight innings. With the split, Lehigh is now 4-2 on the season.
Curtis went the distance to pick up her second win of the season, striking out three and walking three, while allowing just three singles.
Offensively, the Mountain Hawks jumped ahead with a pair of runs in the second inning. Junior Lauren Eichblatt put Lehigh in front with an RBI groundout that scored sophomore Alex Cueva. Sophomore Carly Potock then followed with a single, scoring pinch-runner Kristyn Kubiak to put the Brown and White up 2-0.
The Mountain Hawks tacked on a run on a sacrifice fly by senior Lisa Sweeney, her tenth RBI of the season.
Lehigh totaled six hits in Sunday’s opener, including two apiece for Potock and senior Alisha Gonzales. Freshmen Audra Wood and Jen Colquhoun delivered the Mountain Hawks other two hits.
In game two the Mountain Hawks were limited to just three hits, including two from senior Whitney Lowe.
Lehigh capitalized on a pair of defensive miscues to take a 2-0 lead after three and a half innings. In the second, Sweeney reached on an error by shortstop Maggie McDonald and eventually came around to score on a wild pitch. Two innings later, Lehigh loaded the bases on three walks and with two outs an error by third baseman Kayla Hines on a ball hit by Potock allowed Sweeney to score to make it 2-0 Mountain Hawks.
Sweeney started in the circle for Lehigh, allowing four hits and striking out three in four scoreless innings. Sophomore Bri Gaumer relieved Sweeney in the fifth, and Niagara put its first run on the board when Kristin Kill scored on a throwing error by Gaumer.
The Mountain Hawks tacked on an insurance run in the sixth on an RBI groundout by junior Brooke Lewis, but the Purple Eagles answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame.
In the seventh, Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan turned the ball over to Curtis. Felicia Coffey led off the inning with a double and with one out Hines delivered an RBI single to tie the game at three. Niagara nearly won the game in the seventh, but Potock gunned down Teresa Healy from left field to end the frame.
The game then went to extra innings, with the international tiebreaker rule in effect. Lehigh failed to bring its runner home from second base in the top of the eighth, but in the bottom of the eighth, McDonald scored the winning run on a passed ball with two outs, giving Niagara the win.
Curtis suffered the loss in the nightcap as she falls to 2-1 on the season.
The Mountain Hawks will continue action at the Rebel Spring Games on Monday when they square off against Detroit at 1 p.m. and Fairfield at 3 p.m.