HAMILTON, N.Y. – Lehigh pounded out 13 hits and erased a 3-1 deficit by scoring five runs in the fourth and fifth innings as the Mountain Hawks moved into the winners bracket at the Patriot League Tournament with a 6-4 win over Holy Cross Thursday at Eaton Street Field. Senior Alex Cueva had a pair of RBI doubles for the Mountain Hawks, who move to 31-21 on the season.
“The fact of the matter is we got behind and nobody gave up,” explained Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan. “It was a nice comeback for us and the kids didn’t have any negative energy at all. They knew they were going to do it and now our sight turns to the noon game tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll come with the same energy tomorrow.”
Freshman Ashley Quigley earned the start in the pitcher’s circle and retired the Crusaders in order in the top of the first inning. In the bottom of the frame, junior Audra Wood led off with a single up the middle and then came around to score on Cueva’s first double to left center.
Holy Cross responded with the next three runs to take the lead. Sam Fregenti led off the top of the second with a home run to right field to tie the game. The Crusaders then put runners on the corners with two outs and pushed the go-ahead run across when Tiffany Medwid’s grounder was mishandled by junior Julie Fernandez. Alex Gustafson extended the lead with a one-out RBI triple in the fourth inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Mountain Hawks scored three runs with two outs to re-take the lead for good. Senior Carly Potock led off with a single and was on first base with two outs when sophomore Rosie Roessel tripled to left field, scoring Potock to cut the deficit to 3-2. Wood then brought Roessel home with the tying run after a perfectly placed bunt single. Cueva then hit a long drive to right center where Erin Fleming nearly made a brilliant catch, but Fleming hit the fence, the ball came loose and Wood came home with the go-ahead run.
Lehigh extended its lead in the sixth on an RBI single by sophomore Tenley Halaquist, her second hit of the day. Potock then scored on a passed ball for Lehigh’s sixth and final run.
Quigley allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits in four innings to earn the win as she improved to 13-11 on the season. Quigley struck out three and did not walk a batter. Sophomore Rebecca Bliss came out of the bullpen to earn her fourth save, allowing a Caitlin Belanger solo home run in the seventh inning.
Belanger took the loss for the Crusaders, allowing six runs on 11 hits in five innings as she falls to 4-11. Holy Cross drops to 18-30 with the loss.
Wood, Cueva, Fernandez and Halaquist all had two hits to lead the Mountain Hawks offensively.
“Alex is a great player with a lot of heart,” Troyan said. “Tenley Halaquist also had a great game. She made a great play defensively to help get us out of an inning. Overall it was a nice first effort.”
Lehigh will face Colgate, who defeated Army 3-2 in Thursday’s second game, in a winner’s bracket game Friday at noon. The game will be broadcast online at Lehighsports.com with pregame coverage beginning at 11:45 a.m.