BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Down 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Lehigh rallied to score three runs in the fifth and held on to defeat northeast regional power Hofstra 4-2 in the second game of a doubleheader Wednesday at Kaufman Field. Sophomore Liz Lucas drove in the go-ahead run with an infield single to give Lehigh its first win over the Pride since 1995 and snapping a seven game losing streak to its regional rival.
The Pride took Wednesday’s opener 6-0 behind a three-hitter from Olivia Galati. With the split, Lehigh moves to 23-18 on the season, while Hofstra is now 29-10.
After winning game one, Hofstra took a 1-0 lead in the second inning of game two as Trisha Dreslinski drilled a two out solo home run to left off Lehigh freshman Kelsey Lee.
The Mountain Hawks put runners on second and third with two outs in the bottom of the third, but the threat ended when Erin Wade got senior Alex Cueva to ground out to second base.
In the fourth Lehigh loaded the bases with one out on back-to-back singles from junior Julie Fernandez and Lucas, and a dropped fly ball by Rachael Senatore off the bat of sophomore pinch hitter Jacqi Kennelly. Freshman Kristin Taft brought home the tying run with a sacrifice fly to center that scored pinch runner Kristen Mitchell.
Hofstra went back in front in the fifth as pinch hitter Ashley Ainbinder led off with a single and Krista Thorn scored on a double to left by D.J. Slugh, but Lehigh put together another threat in the bottom of the frame to take the lead. Infield singles from junior Audra Wood and sophomore Rosie Roessel put the tying runs on base and a one out single to left by Fernandez loaded the bases for Lucas.
A wild pitch by Wade brought home Wood with the tying run, and Pride second baseman Jess Hirschbuhl hesitated on Lucas’ slow ground ball to the right side, allowing Lucas to beat the throw to first while Roessel crossed the plate with the go-ahead run. A sacrifice fly by junior Jen Colquhoun scored Fernandez with the third run of the inning to put Lehigh up by two.
Working with a two-run lead, Lee retired the Pride in order in the sixth and after putting the tying runs on base in the seventh, retired Hirschbuhl on a fly ball to left and Sara Michalowski on a foul fly down the right field line to end the game. Lee allowed two runs on five hits in seven innings, walking three and striking out one as she improves to 3-4 on the season. Wade took the loss allowing four runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings as her record dropped to 9-4.
Lehigh out-hit Hofstra 9-5 in the nightcap with Wood (three), Roessel (two), Fernandez (two), and Lucas (two) accounting for all nine hits.
In game one Galati was dominant for Hofstra as she allowed just three singles in seven innings while striking out 11 and walking one en route to her 20th win of the season. Galati threw four hitless innings before Lucas led off the fifth with an infield single. Roessel and Cueva added back-to-back singles for the Mountain Hawks in the sixth.
Hofstra took control of the opener scoring four runs in the second inning on RBI doubles by Tessa Ziemba and Slugh, an RBI single by Senatore and an error by Colquhoun on a stolen base attempt. Michalowski drove in single runs for the Pride with RBI singles in the fifth and seventh innings.
In the circle for Lehigh, sophomore Becca Bliss took the loss allowing five runs on six hits in five innings as she falls to 11-5. Freshman Ashley Quigley relieved Bliss and gave up one unearned run in two innings of work.
The Mountain Hawks will resume Patriot League play this weekend when they host defending regular season champion Army for four games at Kaufman Field. First pitch for game one on both Saturday and Sunday is set for noon.