Posted: May 14, 2010
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Lehigh’s 2010 season came to an end Friday as the Mountain Hawks fell to Army 4-1 in the loser’s bracket of the Patriot League Tournament at the Army Softball Complex. Alex Reynolds broke a scoreless tie with a three-run bases-clearing double in the bottom of the fifth as the Black Knights (33-19) moved into an elimination game against Bucknell while Lehigh’s season comes to an end at 31-19. This marks the first time in school history Lehigh failed to win a Patriot League Tournament game.
The game started as a pitcher’s duel between Army’s Shawna Bleyl and Lehigh freshman Becca Bliss. Lehigh had quality chances in the first, third and fifth innings but stranded two runners on all three occasions.
With runners on the corners and two out in the first, Bleyl retired freshman Liz Lucas on a called third strike. Lehigh once again had runners on the corners and two outs in the third, but sophomore Jen Colquhoun grounded into a force play to end the threat.
A two-base error, a hit batsman and a sacrifice bunt gave Lehigh runners on second and third with nobody out in the top of the fifth. Sophomore Julie Fernandez hit a ground ball to third but Rachael Duval threw freshman Rosie Roessel out at the plate for the second out, and Colquhoun flied out to left to end the inning.
“That was kind of a microcosm of our year,” said Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan. “We never caught a break. We had second and third and one out with Julie at the plate. She scorched one at the third baseman. If that ball goes a foot in either direction it’s a 2-0 game. We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities. Army had one chance and made the most of it and that was the difference in the game.”
Bliss, who threw a five-inning no-hitter against the Black Knights last time she faced them, cruised through the first four innings. Her string of hitless innings against Army ended at 7.2 after an infield single by Jennae Tomlinson in the third and she also successfully worked around a leadoff double by Duval in the fourth.
In the fifth, Bliss struck out Reanna Johnson looking for the first out, but then lost command of the strike zone. The right hander walked pinch hitter Clara Navarro, issued a single to Jessica Garcia and then walked Tomlinson to load the bases. Reynolds jumped on Bliss’ first offering and drilled it to left to clear the bases and give Army a 3-0 lead. After a walk to Duval, Alexis AuBuchon singled to right field to plate Reynolds to make it 4-0.
“Army had seen Becca two times around today and in two previous games,” explained Troyan. “She pitched well through the first four innings, but ultimately it came down to one swing and one bad pitch.”
Lucas accounted for Lehigh’s only run of the game when she led off the top of the sixth with a home run to left, her team-leading sixth of the season. The blast was the 27th of the year for the Mountain Hawks, establishing a new school record. Bleyl though, would not allow any further damage as she retired the final six batters she faced to end Lehigh’s season.
Army out-hit Lehigh 7-5 for the day, with Garcia leading the Black Knights with two hits, while Lucas picked up two hits for the Mountain Hawks.
Lehigh - Army Patriot League Tournament Post-Game Extra