GREENVILLE, N.C. – Lehigh wrapped up action at the ECU Pirate Clash with two more games Sunday afternoon at ECU Softball Stadium. The Mountain Hawks were unable to get into the win column though. Lehigh erased a 9-1 deficit to force extra innings before dropping a 12-11 heartbreaker to Fairfield in its first game, before dropping a 4-1 decision to Towson. The Mountain Hawks finish the first weekend of play at 0-5 on the young season.
Fairfield (2-3) raced to a 6-0 lead after two and a half innings, before Lehigh scored its first run in the bottom of the third as senior Alex Cueva singled home sophomore Jacqi Kennelly. The Stags added three more runs in the top of the fourth and looked to wrap-up the game in the fifth before Lehigh began its comeback.
Kennelly led off the bottom of the fifth with a single and moved to second on a passed ball. With two outs freshman Lizzy Odren singled through the right side to score Kennelly and prolong the game. Odren eventually came around to score on an illegal pitch and a pair of wild pitches by Sarah Minice as the Mountain Hawks trailed 9-3 after five.
The Mountain Hawks showed their resiliency scoring six runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game. Lehigh loaded the bases with one out on singles by junior Jen Colquhoun, freshman Kristin Taft and Kennelly. Sophomore Kristen Mitchell brought home Colquhoun with a single to right center, which chased Minice from the game. Taft scored on a passed ball and then junior Audra Wood brought two more runs home with a single to right center. Lehigh loaded the bases again and sophomore Liz Lucas brought the Mountain Hawks within one with a single through the left side that scored Wood. Colquhoun then brought the tying run home with a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Odren.
The game went into extra innings, where the international tiebreaker rule was implemented. In the top of the eighth, Fairfield went in front 12-9 on a sacrifice fly, an error and a double by Alli Wigand. Once again, though, Lehigh did not go down without a fight. With two outs, junior Julie Fernandez singled to left to put runners on the corners. Lucas brought home Mitchell with a single to right and then Colquhoun followed with a single to center that scored Fernandez. With the tying run on third and the winning run on first, Fairfield’s Rae Ball got senior Carly Potock to pop out to third to end the game.
Lehigh out-hit Fairfield 16-11 with Colquhoun leading the charge, going 3-for-4 with two RBI. Kennelly also had three hits and scored three runs for the Brown and White. Odren, Fernandez and Lucas all had two hits apiece to pace the Lehigh attack,
Wigand went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI to lead Fairfield.
In the circle, Lehigh freshman Ashley Quigley went the first five innings and then returned to pitch the final two frames. She allowed 12 runs (nine earned) on ten hits, while walking five and striking out seven.
Ball earned the win for Fairfield in relief of Minice and Emily Orr.
In its final game at the ECU Pirate Clash Lehigh turned to freshman Kelsey Lee against Towson. The Tigers took an early 2-0 lead on a two-run home run by Sammi DiPompo in the bottom of the first.
Lehigh cut the deficit to 2-1 in the fifth as Cueva reached on an error, moved to second on a wild pitch, went to third on a fielder’s choice and then scored on a groundout by Colquhoun. The Tigers however put up two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth on back-to-back RBI doubles by Erika Stasch and Haley Stueckler.
Dominique Ortega limited Lehigh to one unearned run on five hits to earn the win. Ortega walked three and struck out one in seven innings of work. For Lehigh, Lee allowed four runs on six hits in six innings. She walked three and struck out three.
Lucas had three of Lehigh’s five hits in the nightcap.
The Mountain Hawks will now be off until next Sunday when they open up action at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla. Lehigh will face Loyola (Chicago) at 9 a.m. and South Dakota at 1 p.m.