Posted: April 14, 2010
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Sophomore Julie Fernandez extended her hitting streak to 25 straight games with a three-run home run in game one and two more hits in the nightcap but it wasn’t enough as Lehigh was swept by Monmouth in a non-league doubleheader Wednesday at MU Softball Park. The host Hawks pounded out 16 hits to win game one 10-4 and Kayla Weiser’s game-winning single propelled Monmouth to a 5-4 win in nine innings in the nightcap. With the sweep Lehigh falls to 21-13 while Monmouth, the first place team in the Northeast Conference, improves to 17-10.
In game one, Monmouth tagged senior Tiffany Curtis for ten runs and 16 hits in six innings. The Hawks scored the first seven runs of the game before Fernandez’ three-run blast to centerfield in the top of the fifth inning. Weiser was 3-for-3 for Monmouth in the opener with a sacrifice fly in the first inning and an RBI single as part of a four-run third.
Hernandez’ second home run of the season brought Lehigh within four runs, but Monmouth answered with two runs in the bottom of the fifth on an Emily deLong two-run home run. Lehigh got a run back on a fielder’s choice in the sixth, but two of Lehigh’s four errors came in the bottom of the sixth which allowed the Hawks to score their tenth run.
Eight of Curtis’ ten runs allowed were earned and the senior right hander walked three and struck out three as she falls to 12-6. Melissa Mehrer earned the win allowing four runs on seven hits in a complete-game effort.
Sophomore Audra Wood and freshman Rosie Roessel picked up two hits apiece in game one.
Game two was scoreless through three innings until Lehigh went in front in the top of the fourth on a two-out RBI single by junior Carly Potock that scored pinch-runner Kristen Mitchell. In the bottom of the fourth, Dara Palms tied the game with a RBI squeeze bunt.
Lehigh went back in front with a run in the fifth as Wood singled and then scored from first on a single by freshman Jacqi Kennelly, who was 3-for-5 in the nightcap. The Mountain Hawks’ defensive struggles continued in game two as the Brown and White committed five more errors, two of which led to two Monmouth runs to put the Hawks up 3-2 after five.
In the sixth, Lehigh tied the game at three on a sacrifice fly and Wood and Kennelly teamed up to give the Mountain Hawks the lead with some help from a Monmouth error in the seventh. With one out, Wood reached on an infield single, and Kennelly followed with a double to right center. An error by Chelsea Paprocki allowed Wood to score the go-ahead run.
The Mountain Hawks looked to close the game out in the bottom of the seventh but Tish Derer led off with a triple off freshman Rebecca Bliss and Christine Scherr brought her home with a bunt single.
The game remained tied into the bottom of the ninth where Bliss walked Scherr, who then moved into scoring position on a sacrifice. Lehigh intentionally walked Jessica Nicola to set up a force play but Weiser singled through the left side and a throwing error by Potock allowed Scherr to score the winning run.
Bliss took the loss in her first start since her no-hitter versus Army on Sunday, allowing five runs (two earned) on seven hits in 8.1 innings. The freshman right hander walked six and struck out three as she falls to 6-5. Lauren Sulick earned the win for Monmouth allowing four runs on 11 hits while striking out 13 Lehigh batters.
The Mountain Hawks will look to get back on the winning track when they resume Patriot League play with a four-game series at rival Lafayette. The teams will play doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday at Lafayette’s Metzgar Fields with first pitch both days scheduled for 12 p.m.