Posted: March 27, 2010
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh softball team has now won four straight after it defeated Niagara 8-0 in game one and 8-5 in the second game on Saturday afternoon at Kaufman Field. In game one, the Mountain Hawks were led by their pitching as senior Tiffany Curtis pitched all five innings, only allowing four hits. The Brown and White relied on its bats in game two and freshman Liz Lucas delivered with three hits and four RBIs. With the two wins on Saturday Lehigh improves to 11-7 on the season. The Purple Eagles drop to 5-9 with the losses.
“I thought that Tiffany Curtis took real command in the first game,” head coach Fran Troyan said. “We got some timely hitting and I thought it was a real strong win.”
Troyan continued talking about game two. “We played well, but had that one inning that got away from us. When we get to the point where we don’t implode for an inning we’ll become a pretty solid team.”
Lehigh started things out strong in game one jumping out to a 3-0 lead after the first inning. The Mountain Hawks kept their bats going in the second as junior Alex Cueva knocked in sophomore Tenley Halaquist to bring the score to 4-0. With two outs, sophomore Jennifer Colquhoun hit a two-run double to give the Brown and White a 6-0 lead after two.
After a scoreless third inning the heart of the order came up big again, as sophomore Julie Fernandez knocked in her classmate Audra Wood to increase Lehigh’s lead to 7-0 after four innings.
With only one more run needed to end the game in the fifth, Halaquist hit a walk-off double to give the Mountain Hawks the 8-0 win.
Curtis finished the game with four strikeouts and only two walks. At the plate, the Brown and White finished with eight hits in game one, as Fernandez led the way with two hits and two RBIs.
In game two, Lehigh was once again able to strike first, as Lucas knocked in the first run with a single in the bottom of the first. Lucas wasn’t done yet, as she came up in the bottom of the third inning and crushed a two-run home run to centerfield to give the Mountain Hawks a 3-0 lead.
“Liz has done a great job behind the plate for us this year,” Troyan said. “She shows lots of leadership for a freshman and we expect her to become a real special player.”
Wood opened up the bottom of the fifth with a single and Cueva was able to knock her in with a double. Lucas struck again as she reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Cueva to increase Lehigh’s lead to 5-0.
After pitching a strong game, freshman Rebecca Bliss got herself into some trouble in the top of the sixth, as Niagara was able to score five runs after recording two outs. With the bases loaded Bliss walked in the Purple Eagles first run of the game and Niagara followed that up with an RBI single. With the bases still loaded, Lehigh brought in junior Briana Gaumer, but the Purple Eagles answered as Kristin Kill hit a bases clearing double to even the score. Curtis entered the game in relief of Gaumer and closed out the inning.
Lehigh bounced right back in the bottom of the inning, as Halaquist was able to score the go-ahead run on a wild pitch. With the bases loaded, Colquhoun added some insurance runs as she singled in two runners.
Curtis closed out the game in the top of the seventh to pick up her second win of the day. Bliss pitched 5.2 innings and gave up five runs. Wood and Cueva each finished with two hits to aid Lucas on the offensive side.
The Mountain Hawks will finish up their series against the Purple Eagles on Sunday with the first game of the doubleheader getting underway at 11 a.m.