Posted: March 25, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Senior Stefanie Forlenza tossed a complete game nine hit shutout to lead the Mountain Hawks to a 5-0 victory over Iona in the final game of the 2007 Lehigh Equinox at Kaufman Field on Sunday. Earlier in the day, Lehigh fell to Albany 9-8 in a wild nine inning affair that saw the Mountain Hawks come from behind to tie the game on three separate occasions. Lehigh now stands at 10-12-1 on the season.
Forlenza scattered nine hits and worked out of several jams to pick up her first victory of the season. The right hander struck out three Gaels and walked two as she improved to 1-2 on the year.
Lehigh, the designated visiting team in game two, took an early lead in the top of the first inning when junior Kate Marvel led off the game with a walk, took second on a wild pitch, and came around to score on an Iona throwing error on a ball hit by sophomore Whitney Lowe. Two batters later, senior Lauren Haney singled to centerfield, driving in Lowe to give the Mountain Hawks a 2-0 advantage.
The Mountain Hawks extended their lead in the third inning when senior Julie Sterrett drove in two runs with a triple to right center. Junior Taryn Hanley followed with a sacrifice fly, plating Sterrett to extend the lead to 5-0, with Forlenza and the Lehigh defense taking care of the rest.
Amanda Glaser suffered the loss for the Gaels, who fall to 4-9 on the season. Iona out hit Lehigh 9-6 but the Gaels stranded 11 runners on base.
The day’s first game saw Albany jump to a 4-0 lead against Lehigh sophomore Lisa Sweeney after two innings.
In the third inning the Mountain Hawks mounted their first rally of the day, scoring four runs to tie the game. After a throwing error led to Lehigh’s first run, Sterrett smacked her first two-run triple of the day, and later scored on a double from senior Heather Hamasaki.
Freshman pitcher Tiffany Curtis relieved Sweeney and helped keep Lehigh in the game with seven strong innings in the circle. Lehigh took the lead in the fifth inning as Hamasaki hit a sacrifice fly to score Hanley, who doubled, but Albany tied the game in the sixth on an RBI single from Nicole Kothe.
With the international tiebreaker rules in effect, Albany took the lead with two runs in the top of the eighth, only to see Lehigh rally once again. A pinch hit RBI single from Lowe brought the Brown and White within one, and a bases loaded walk to junior Megan Conrad kept the game going.
Albany (12-5) put two more runs on the board in the ninth, but Lehigh could only answer with one, an RBI single from senior Lauren Haney.
Casey Halloran pitched into the ninth inning for Albany to earn her third win of the season. Leah McIntosh recorded the final three outs to earn the save. For Lehigh, Curtis allowed four earned runs and five hits in seven innings, while striking out two.
Sterrett and Marvel had two hits apiece versus the Great Danes.
“In the first game we made some mental mistakes and spotted Albany three early runs,” said Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan. “I’m proud of how we fought back on three occasions. It was a great game from an intensity standpoint because it had the feel of a Patriot League game.
Troyan continues, “We came back nicely with some timely hitting and good defense against Iona, and we got a good pitching performance from Stef Forlenza.”
Sunday’s middle game saw Albany defeat Iona 7-6 in nine innings.
The Mountain Hawks will return to the diamond on Tuesday when they travel to Penn for a doubleheader that gets underway at 3:00 pm from Philadelphia.