Posted: April 3, 2010
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – It was a tale of two very different games as Lehigh and Colgate opened up the Patriot League season Saturday at Kaufman Field. Senior Tiffany Curtis fired a one-hit shutout as the Mountain Hawks prevailed 1-0 over the Raiders in a pitcher’s duel in game one, while senior Brooke Lewis delivered a two-out, bases-loaded, game-winning single to lead Lehigh to a come-from-behind 10-9 win in the nightcap. With the sweep, Lehigh extends its winning streak to five games and improves to 16-0 overall and 2-0 in the Patriot League.
“The first game was a real pitcher’s duel with some impeccable defense played by both teams,” said Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan. “It was a well pitched game and a great effort by Tiffany Curtis. In the second game both teams hit the ball well and both teams made some mistakes defensively. I’m happy for Brooke Lewis, who came back with the game-winning hit after some troubles in the field.”
Curtis (10-4) out-dueled Michelle Hollebeke in the opener, striking out seven Raiders to earn her third shutout and second one-hitter of the season. The senior allowed just four base runners on two walks, an error and a seventh-inning single by Stephanie Hartquist that broke up Curtis’ no hit bid.
The game’s only run came in the bottom of the fourth inning when sophomore Julie Fernandez singled up the middle with one out and then came around to score from first on a double to right center by freshman Liz Lucas. Fernandez had two of Lehigh’s five hits in game one.
The Raiders threatened in the top of the seventh, moving the tying run to second base with one out, but Curtis fanned Natalie Siedhof swinging and then caught Brittany Hanrahan looking to end the game.
Game two followed a much different pattern, as Colgate built three different four-run leads but Lehigh battled back every single time.
Hartquist put Colgate up 1-0 with an RBI single in the first inning of the nightcap and the Raiders tacked on three more in the second inning to lead 4-0 after an inning and a half.
Freshman Kristen Mitchell put Lehigh on the scoreboard with a bases-loaded bloop single to right field in the bottom of the second. The Raiders tacked on a run in the third to re-gain a five run advantage before Lehigh put together a four-run assault in the bottom of the third to tie the game at five.
Junior Alex Cueva led off the frame with a walk and moved to third base on a double by Fernandez. Lucas brought Cueva home with a sacrifice fly to right to make it 5-2. Lewis’ second hit of game two scored Fernandez, and freshman Jacqi Kennelly then followed with a two-run double to left center that tied the game.
Colgate (17-7, 0-2) pulled back in front with four runs in the top of the fourth. With two outs Lewis dropped Ortega’s pop up, allowing Amanda Zranchev to score the go ahead run. Nicole Siedhof then followed with a three-run home run to left to give the Raiders their third four-run lead of the game.
The Mountain Hawks once again answered back with three runs in the bottom of the fourth on back-to-back RBI singles by Kennelly and Mitchell and a run-scoring error on Hollebeke, who entered the game in relief in the fourth. Lehigh could get no further in the frame however, as the Mountain Hawks left the bases loaded for the third straight inning.
The game remained 9-8 Colgate into the bottom of the seventh inning. Freshman Rosie Roessel led off with a single up the middle, and was erased on a fielder’s choice as sophomore Audra Wood reached first base. Wood stole second base, but junior Alex Cueva struck out for the second out. Fernandez then worked out a walk after a lengthy at-bat that saw Wood advance to third on a wild pitch.
The Raiders had a chance to win the game as Lucas hit a slow ground ball to Ortega shortstop, but Ortega bobbled it and was late getting to second base, making everybody safe and bringing Wood home with the tying run. After a walk to Potock loaded the bases again, Lewis drilled a Hollebeke offering into the gap in right center brining pinch-runner Lauren Eichblatt home with the winning run and giving Lehigh the sweep.
Lewis was 3-for-5 in the nightcap while Mitchell added three hits in four at-bats. Hartquist was 4-for-4 for Colgate and had hits in five straight at-bats for the Raiders.
In the circle, freshman Rebecca Bliss earned the win for Lehigh with three scoreless innings in relief of junior Bri Gaumer. Hollebeke came on in relief of Jesse McCarrick and Courtney O’Connell and suffered her second loss of the day (9-4) allowing five runs in 3.2 innings of work.
“Rebecca came in a pitched well in relief,” said Troyan. “She held Colgate at bay those last three innings which proved to be the difference in the game. Our team was really resilient today. We went down early but we never gave in. I’m proud of the effort and the resiliency and we’ll need to continue to do that as the season moves along.”
Lehigh and Colgate will wrap-up their four-game series on Sunday with a doubleheader beginning at noon from Kaufman Field.
Mountain Hawks Softball Post-Game Extra