Posted: March 31, 2010
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – In its final tune-up before Patriot League play begins this weekend, Lehigh swept a doubleheader from Princeton Wednesday afternoon at Kaufman Field. The Mountain Hawks capitalized on a dropped fly ball to walk off with a 4-3 win in game one, before overcoming an early 3-0 deficit with seven unanswered runs to win the nightcap 8-5. With the sweep Lehigh improves to 7-1 on its current home stand and 14-8 overall this season.
“Most of our games are going to be this way,” said Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan. “I think that there’s a lot of parity at this level and every game is a fight.”
In game one Lehigh capitalized on five Princeton errors while coming from behind on two separate occasions. The Tigers jumped in front 1-0 in the top of the second inning on a Kelsey Quist solo home run to left center but the Mountain Hawks answered with a run in the bottom of the inning when Collette Abbott booted a ground ball off the bat of senior Lauren Eichblatt allowing freshman Liz Lucas to score.
Princeton went back in front with two runs in the top of the fourth, but again Lehigh answered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Lucas led off with a double and junior Carly Potock walked before freshman Jacqi Kennelly, who started at shortstop in place of injured sophomore Jen Colquhoun, doubled to left center, which brought Kristen Mitchell and Potock home to tie the game at three.
The game remained tied into the bottom of the seventh. Sophomore Julie Fernandez started a two-out rally with a double down the left field line. Lucas then followed with a fly ball to right that Quist initially lost in the sun, and then dropped allowing Fernandez to come home with the winning run.
Lehigh out-hit Princeton 7-3 in the opener with Lucas going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Senior Tiffany Curtis picked up her ninth win of the season in the circle, allowing three runs on three runs (two earned) on three hits while walking two and striking out eight.
Liza Kuhn took the loss for Princeton despite allowing just two earned runs in seven innings.
The Tigers started game two with a flourish, plating three runs before Lehigh could record an out on RBI doubles by Jamie Lettire and Quist.
Once again Lehigh showed the ability to match Princeton’s output as the Mountain Hawks scored three runs off Lettire in the bottom of the inning. Lehigh loaded the bases with nobody out on two walks and an error. Lucas scored sophomore Audra Wood with an RBI ground out and after another walk re-loaded the bases, senior Brooke Lewis hit a sacrifice fly to right to make it 3-2. Kennelly followed with Lehigh’s first hit of the nightcap, a RBI single to right field that tied the game at three.
Lehigh went in front for good with four runs in the bottom of the third inning. Singles by Potock and Kennelly, plus a sacrifice by Lewis put runners at the corners with one out. Sophomore Tenley Halaquist lined a single to right field scoring Potock with the go-ahead run. The Mountain Hawks then tacked on three more runs on consecutive RBI singles by Wood, junior Alex Cueva and Fernandez.
“Jen Colquhoun has been a fantastic player for us this year,” explained Troyan. “With her out of the lineup today, Jacqi stepped in and did a great job playing shortstop and got some big hits for us as well.”
Sarah Rounsifer brought Princeton (6-17) back within two runs at 7-5 with a fourth-inning two-run double, but Lewis tacked on an insurance run for Lehigh with an RBI ground out in the bottom of the fourth.
In the pitcher’s circle, freshman Rebecca Bliss shook off a rough early start to earn her second win of the season. Bliss allowed five runs on eight hits in four innings, with three walks and three strikeouts. Junior Bri Gaumer picked up her first career save with three innings of scoreless, one-hit relief.
The Mountain Hawks will now shift focus to Patriot League play which begins Saturday when Colgate visits Kaufman Field for the first two games of a four game series.
“We’re starting to build momentum,” said Troyan. “We’re playing pretty good softball. You never want to peak too early so hopefully we can continue to play well and continue to get better.”
First pitch for game one is set for 12 p.m. and all the action can be heard live online at Lehighsports.com.
Lehigh - Princeton Post-Game Extra