Posted: April 23, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – In its final non-league doubleheader of the regular season, Lehigh came from behind in both games to earn a sweep over Monmouth Thursday at Kaufman Field. Sophomore Alex Cueva singled home freshman Audra Wood with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead Lehigh to a 4-3 win in the opener, while the Mountain Hawks rallied for five runs in the bottom of the sixth in game two to win 6-3 in a game that was shortened to six innings due to darkness.
With the sweep, Lehigh moves to 29-16-1 on the season, while Monmouth falls to 22-15-1 with the two losses.
Senior Lisa Sweeney and Monmouth sophomore Melissa Mehrer were locked in a pitcher’s duel through the first three innings of game one. Cueva put Lehigh ahead in the bottom of the fourth with an RBI single that scored pinch-runner Ali Torborg.
In the fifth, Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan brought junior Tiffany Curtis in the game and after a two out walk and a passed ball, Chelsea Paprocki singled to right field to tie the game at one. The visiting Hawks added another run in the sixth on a two-out infield single by Nichole Alvarez.
When Lehigh went to its bullpen, Monmouth also took out its ace, Mehrer. Dara Palms cruised through her first two innings of relief before the Mountain Hawks rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh.
Freshman Tenley Halaquist started the seventh-inning rally with a one-out base hit through the left side. Pinch-hitter Alisha Gonzales reached on an error and then senior Whitney Lowe singled to right, bringing in Halaquist with the tying run. Lehigh had a chance to win, as Palms intentionally walked freshman Julie Fernandez to load the bases, but Sweeney grounded into a 5-2-3 double play to end the threat and send the game into extra innings.
Monmouth regained the lead in the top of the ninth when Abby Martin advanced from second to third on a fly ball to right field and then scored on a throwing error by sophomore Mickey LaValley.
Lehigh was not finished however; as Halaquist led off the bottom of the ninth with a single and then moved to third on an error by Alexa Ferrara following an infield hit by Wood. Fernandez tied the game at three with a single up the middle, scoring Halaquist. After Sweeney reached on an error, Cueva singled up the middle to bring home the winning run.
The Mountain Hawks out hit Monmouth 14-5 in the opener with Fernandez and Halaquist ripping three hits apiece. Curtis earned the win in the circle (11-6) allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits. She struck out four and walked six. Palms suffered her first loss of the season for the Hawks.
The Hawks raced to an early lead in game two as the first five batters reached base safely against sophomore Bri Gaumer. Alavarez laced a double down the right field line scoring two runs to put Monmouth up 2-0. Monmouth tacked on a third run in the third inning and led 3-0, before Gonzales put Lehigh on the scoreboard with an RBI double to right center in the bottom of the third.
With darkness descending upon Kaufman Field, Lehigh mustered a rally in the bottom of the sixth, with five runs on four hits. Gonzales led off with her second double of the day and Cueva followed with a single to put runners on second and third. Junior Brooke Lewis then singled to left field, bringing home Gonzales to put Lehigh within a run. Back-to-back walks to sophomore Carly Potock and Halaquist forced home the tying run and Curtis delivered the go-ahead run with an RBI groundout to second base.
Lowe added the exclamation point with a two-run single to put the Brown and White up by three. At the end of the frame the game was called due to darkness and Lehigh had its doubleheader sweep.
Gaumer picked up her first win of the season with her first career complete game, as she allowed three runs on nine hits. She struck out four and did not walk a batter as she improved to 1-2. Mehrer went the first 5.1 innings for Monmouth and took the loss, falling to 13-8.
Lehigh will return to action on Saturday when the Mountain Hawks open up a four game series against Holy Cross at Kaufman Field. The Mountain Hawks and Crusaders will play doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday with first pitch for game one on both days set for 12 p.m.
Watch the Lehigh - Monmouth Post-Game Extra