BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh scored seven runs in the first inning and seven more in the fifth, highlighted by a game-ending grand slam by sophomore Liz Lucas as the Mountain Hawks downed Army 14-5 in five innings in the second game of a doubleheader Sunday at Kaufman Field. The Mountain Hawks had to settle for a split on the day as a seventh-inning rally fell short in a 6-4 loss in the opener.
With the split, Lehigh moves to 24-19 overall and 9-4 in the Patriot League, while Army is now 23-19 and 6-12 in the league. The Mountain Hawks can clinch a Patriot League tournament berth with either one more win or one more Bucknell loss.
Army won the opener and started game two with two runs in the top of the first off freshman Ashley Quigley, but Lehigh responded with seven in the bottom of the first. The Mountain Hawks sent 12 batters to the plate and matched their most productive inning of the season. Junior Audra Wood went 3-for-4 in the nightcap and led off with a double, before coming in to score on a one-out single up the middle by classmate Julie Fernandez. Lehigh loaded the bases and took a 3-2 lead on consecutive bloop singles to left center by junior Jen Colquhoun and senior Carly Potock.
Lehigh’s lead grew to 5-2 on back-to-back bases loaded walks to freshmen Jess Long and Lizzy Odren. The first base on balls chased Army starter Haley Pypes from the game after Pypes earned the win in game one. Shawna Bleyl walked Odren and then gave up a single through the left side to Wood and a sacrifice fly by sophomore Rosie Roessel to give Lehigh a 7-2 advantage.
The Black Knights scored three runs in the second to cut Lehigh’s lead to 7-5 but from there both pitchers settled in, matching zeroes until Lehigh came to bat in the bottom of the fifth.
Colquhoun led off the fifth with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Potock double into the gap in left center. Wood’s third hit of the game scored Potock to put Lehigh in front 9-5. A bunt single by Roessel loaded the bases and a throwing error by Army catcher Rachael Duval scored freshman Lizzy Odren with the third run of the inning. A walk to Fernandez re-loaded the bases, and Lucas ended the game by driving a Bleyl offering over the fence in left center for her seventh home run of the season.
Quigley picked up her tenth win of the season, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits in five innings. She struck out four Black Knights and did not walk a batter as she improves to 10-9. Pypes took the loss in game two allowing seven runs on four hits in one-third of an inning.
Sunday’s opener saw Army erase a 3-1 deficit with five runs in the fifth inning. An error by Potock allowed Army to score in the top of the first, but Lehigh answered with three runs of its own in the bottom of the inning. Pypes issued four walks in the first inning, including a bases-loaded walk to Colquhoun. Sophomore Jacqi Kennelly tied the game with an infield RBI single, while an Army error allowed Lehigh’s third run to score.
Army’s five-run fifth was keyed by a bases-loaded, two-run single by Alex Reynolds that tied the game, and a single by Alexis AuBuchon that have the Black Knights the lead. Pypes helped her own cause with a two-run double in the frame as well.
Trailing by three runs, Lehigh loaded the bases with one out in the seventh. Senior Alex Cueva brought home a run with a sacrifice fly, but after a walk to Fernandez loaded the bases, Lucas lined out to shortstop to end the game.
Pypes limited Lehigh to just three hits and worked around nine walks while striking out two. Sophomore Rebecca Bliss allowed six runs on ten hits in 4.1 innings as she fell to 11-6 with the loss.
Lehigh and Army will wrap-up their series with a doubleheader Monday at Kaufman Field. First pitch for game one is set for 1 p.m. with audio coverage available online at Lehighsports.com.