RALEIGH, N.C. – The Lehigh softball team fell to 0-3 in its season-opening trip to North Carolina with a pair of losses Friday at the Wolfpack Challenge. The Mountain Hawks dropped their first game of the day to Kent State by a 9-2 score before falling 4-2 to Pittsburgh in an eight-inning heartbreaker in the nightcap.
Senior Jen Colquhoun once again led the Mountain Hawks, going 4-for-6 in the two games combined, with a home run and two runs batted in. With hits in her final three at bats Thursday against NC State, a 3-for-3 showing against Kent State and a single in her first at bat against Pitt, Colquhoun hit safely in seven straight at bats and including a walk against the Golden Flashes she reached base safely in eight straight plate appearances.
In Friday’s second game against Pittsburgh, Colquhoun picked up a first-inning single down the left field line. Senior Julie Fernandez followed with a two-run home run to right, giving Lehigh the early 2-0 lead.
Pittsburgh (2-2) pulled even in the top of the second inning on an RBI single by Carissa Throckmorton and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Yvette Bravo. From there the pitchers took over as freshman Emily Bausher and Pittsburgh’s Savannah King began matching zeroes on the scoreboard. Bravo doubled with one out in the seventh to put the go-ahead run in scoring position for the Panthers, but Bausher got out of the jam with a strikeout and a pop out.
After Lehigh failed to score in the bottom of the seventh, the game went into extra innings, where the international tiebreaker rule was implemented. Kristen Cheesebrew was placed on second base for Pittsburgh, and after a failed bunt attempt by Carly Thea, Holly Stevens homered to left to put the Panthers in front. King retired the Mountain Hawks in order to send Lehigh to its third straight loss.
King allowed just one Lehigh hit, a fifth-inning single by junior Rosie Roessel, after the Fernandez home run. She struck out six and did not walk a batter in the complete-game win.
Bausher pitched well in her first collegiate start, but took the loss allowing four runs on six hits in eight innings. She walked three and struck out seven Panthers on the afternoon.
Friday’s first game saw Lehigh pound out eight hits, including the three from Colquhoun, but Kent State scored eight times in the first two innings to build a comfortable lead.
Things started well for the Mountain Hawks as Colquhoun homered to right center with one out in the top of the first. Sophomore Ashley Quigley started in the circle for the Mountain Hawks, and was touched up for four first inning runs, all of which were scored with two outs. Abbey Ledford delivered a bases-loaded, two-run single up the middle, and then Mary Holt followed with a double to left center to give the Golden Flashes a 4-1 lead after one.
Colquhoun continued her torrid start to the season, scoring senior Tenley Halaquist with a two-out single up the middle in the second, but Kent State went back to work, with back-to-back singles, which combined with a Lehigh error and a sacrifice fly built the Golden Flashes lead to 6-2. Junior Becca Bliss came on in relief of Quigley, but gave up a double to Jessica Blanton and then a solo home run to Ledford as the Golden Flashes lead ballooned to 8-2.
Kent State (2-4) added a ninth run on Holt solo home run in the fifth. Lehigh had its chances to get back in the game, but left 12 runners on base. Halaquist enjoyed her first multi-hit game of the season, going 2-for-2.
Quigley gave up six runs (four earned) and six hits in an inning-plus of work, before giving way to Bliss, who allowed two runs on four hits in three innings. Sophomore Kelsey Lee pitched the final two frames for Lehigh, giving up the home run to Holt.
The Mountain Hawks will try again for their first win on Saturday when they face Pittsburgh at 9 a.m. and Toledo at 11 a.m. from Dail Softball Stadium.