Posted: March 3, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh’s pitching proved to be dominant on Tuesday, as the Mountain Hawks wrapped-up action at the Rebel Spring Games with a pair of shutout wins. Junior Tiffany Curtis pitched a perfect game, just the third in Patriot League history, to lead Lehigh to a 1-0 win over St. Bonaventure, while senior ace Lisa Sweeney struck out 13 and went the distance on a five-hitter as the Mountain Hawks blanked Tennessee State 4-0. With the victories, Lehigh improves to 7-3 on the season.
Curtis retired all 21 batters she faced in Tuesday’s second game, mixing seven strikeouts with seven fly outs and seven ground outs for her third victory of the season. The perfect game marked the first no-hitter of Curtis’ Lehigh career and was the first thrown by a Lehigh pitcher since Sweeney no-hit Penn at the Rebel Spring Games in 2007. Sweeney also owns the most recent Lehigh and Patriot League perfect game, when she blanked Army 2-0 in the opening game of the 2006 Patriot League tournament.
“We talked to Tiffany about how good we knew she was,” said Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan. “She really picked her game up and pitched up to her ability today and we’re very proud of her for that.”
The Mountain Hawks managed just three hits of their own against St. Bonaventure’s Sherri Thompson. Lehigh plated the game’s only run in the top of the second when senior Kristyn Kubiak was hit by a pitch and junior Brooke Lewis followed with a two-out RBI triple, scoring Kubiak to put the Brown and White on top.
Sophomores Carly Potock and Mickey LaValley added the other two hits for Lehigh, which has now won three straight games.
Earlier Tuesday, Sweeney struck out a season-high 13 and moved to 4-0 as the Mountain Hawks downed Tennessee State.
Lehigh took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning when freshman Audra Wood singled, stole second, and then came around to score on a single by senior Whitney Lowe. The Mountain Hawks added three big insurance runs in the sixth when Lehigh put runners on first and second with two outs and senior Alisha Gonzales drilled a three-run home run to centerfield to increase Lehigh’s lead to 4-0.
“Our pitching and our defense, especially in the second game, were outstanding,” said Troyan. “Those two areas really carried the day for us.”
The Mountain Hawks will now have two days off before they return to action on Friday at the Under Armour Invitational hosted by USF in Clearwater, Fla. Lehigh will open up pool play against Virginia Tech at 11 a.m. before taking on Fordham at 1 p.m.