Posted: April 26, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – One day after clinching its eleventh straight Patriot League regular season championship, Lehigh wrapped up the regular season by completing a four-game sweep of Holy Cross Sunday afternoon at Kaufman Field. The Mountain Hawks took game one 5-2 and rolled to an 8-0 win in six innings in the nightcap. With the sweep, Lehigh ends the regular season on a six game winning streak as the Mountain Hawks improve to 33-16-1 overall and 17-3 in league games.
“I told the team after the games that back on March 22 we were 10-13 and we weren’t feeling very good about ourselves,” said Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan. “We’ve worked very hard since then and have gone 23-3-1 in our last 27 games. We’re close to peaking and hopefully we will peak May 7-9 at the Patriot League Tournament.”
The Mountain Hawks struck early in game one as freshman Audra Wood led off with a walk, stole second, moved to third on an error, and scored on a single to right field by sophomore Carly Potock.
Another walk to Wood ignited another rally in the third inning. After Wood swiped her second base of the day, senior Lisa Sweeney drilled a two-out single down the left field line to bring Wood home with Lehigh’s second run of the game.
Wood helped extend the Lehigh lead with a two-run triple to right in the fourth inning. She then scored Lehigh’s fifth and final run of the opener when Sam Lenhardt dropped Julie Fernandez’ fly ball to left field.
Sweeney fired five shutout innings in the circle to earn her 19th victory of the season. The senior allowed four hits and struck out six as she moved to 19-8 on the season. Sophomore Bri Gaumer pitched the final two innings, allowing two runs.
“One of the keys to our turnaround has been that Lisa is finally healthy,” Troyan explained. “She was on a pitch count early in the year and our level of competition was stiffer early on. We’ve started playing well as a team and sometimes things start to snowball. Hopefully things are now snowballing in the right direction.
Amanda Audette took the loss for the Crusaders as she falls to 4-12.
Junior Tiffany Curtis tossed a three-hit shutout in game two, her fifth of the season, to move to 13-6. Curtis struck out seven and did not walk a batter in the complete-game effort.
Lehigh delivered plenty of offense for Curtis in the nightcap, scoring seven runs in the first two innings. Senior Ali Torborg and sophomore Mickey LaValley opened the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles up the middle. After a sacrifice by Fernadnez, Sweeney and classmate Alisha Gonzales delivered consecutive infield hits to put Lehigh up 2-0. Freshman Jen Colquhoun then singled to right field to make it 3-0 and sophomore Alex Cueva capped the four-run frame with a RBI groundout to second.
In the second, the Mountain Hawks capitalized on a Holy Cross miscue to score three more runs. With two outs, Keeley Seniuk could not hold on to Sweeney’s fly ball to right center, allowing two runs to score. Gonzales then followed with her second RBI single of the day to put the Brown and White up 7-0.
The Mountain Hawks put the game away in the bottom of the sixth as Potock singled with one out, and then came around to score on a triple to right field by LaValley.
Holy Cross drops to 12-33, 6-14 in the league with the losses. The Crusaders were knocked out of tournament contention.
Lehigh will now be off until Thursday May 7, when the Mountain Hawks host the Patriot League tournament at Kaufman Field. The Mountain Hawks will face the No. 4 seed Lafayette in the first round, with Colgate and Bucknell squaring off in the other first round matchup.
Watch the Lehigh - Holy Cross Post-Game Extra