First inning woes hurt Lehigh in season-opening loss to Campbell
GREENVILLE, N.C. – Rain pushed back the start of Lehigh’s season opener against Campbell and once the Mountain Hawks took the field, they were doomed by a slow start in a 2-1 loss to the Camels in the opening game of the ECU Pirate Clash Friday at ECU Softball Stadium. The Mountain Hawks out-hit the Camels 7-6 but two Campbell runs in the bottom of the first proved to be the difference as Campbell improved to 7-4 on the season, while Lehigh opens at 0-1.
The start of the game was delayed an hour and 50 minutes by rain and once the weather cleared, Campbell, the designated home team, wasted little time going in front. It took just four batters for the Camels to take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Amanda Miller led off the frame with the single up the middle and scored on a triple to left center by Sarah Forgacs. After a walk to Christina Melton, Taylor McGee reached on an infield single to score Forgacs with the Camels’ second run.
Freshman Ashley Quigley started in the circle for Lehigh, and after hitting Lizzie Goldbach to load the bases, settled in to retire the next three Camel hitters to end the threat.
Campbell starting pitcher Brittany Arnn kept the Lehigh bats at bay early on as she held the Mountain Hawks hitless through 3.2 innings before sophomore catcher Liz Lucas singled through the left side for Lehigh’s first hit of the season.
Lehigh mounted its biggest rally of the day in the top of the sixth as Katie Woodcock relieved Arnn in the circle. Junior Audra Wood struck out to lead off the inning, but reached base via a wild pitch. Back-to-back singles from senior Alex Cueva and junior Julie Fernandez loaded the bases and Lucas cut Campbell’s lead to 2-1 with a sacrifice fly to right that scored Wood. Cueva was thrown out at third base on the play. Senior Carly Potock then reached on an infield single to put runners at first and second but junior Jen Colquhoun lined out to third base to end the inning.
With one out in the seventh, freshman Lizzy Odren singled to center field to put the tying run on base. Sophomore Rosie Roessel reached on a fielder’s choice, erasing Odren. Roessel’s second stolen base of the game put the tying run at second base with two outs but Woodcock got Wood to pop out to first base to end the game.
Odren paced Lehigh at the plate with two hits. McGee and Goldbach each had two of the six hits for Campbell.
In the circle, Quigley settled in after the rough start and finished the game allowing just the two runs on six hits. Quigley struck out seven and walked two as she took the loss. Arnn earned the win for Campbell allowing just three hits and a walk while fanning eight Mountain Hawks. Woodcock worked in-and-out of trouble in the final two innings to earn her fourth save.
The Mountain Hawks will continue action at the ECU Pirate Clash on Saturday. Lehigh will face Campbell once again at noon before facing tournament host East Carolina at 4 p.m.