HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. – In a battle of two of the top softball programs in the northeast, Lehigh and Hofstra split a doubleheader Wednesday at Hofstra Softball Stadium. The host Pride took their opener 10-1 in five innings for their fourth straight win before the Mountain Hawks came back to take the nightcap 7-6 in eight innings. With the split Lehigh is 25-15 40 games into its season.
Senior Jen Colquhoun and junior Rosie Roessel led Lehigh in game one with four of the Mountain Hawks’ five hits in the opener. The Pride tagged junior Becca Bliss for ten runs on 12 hits in the first three innings to lead 10 after three. Becca Bigler opened the scoring with a first inning solo home run, before Hofstra added five runs in the second and four more in the third. The Pride totaled 14 hits in game one, with every Hofstra starter recording at least one. Bigler led the way at the plate going 2-for-3 with three RBI.
Lehigh scored its only run when Colquhoun led off the fourth with a home run to left field, her school record-tying 13th of the season.
Hofstra ace Olivia Galati earned the win allowing a run on five hits in five innings. She struck out eight Mountain Hawks and walked none. Bliss fell to 10-6 with the loss as she saw her streak of decisions won end at nine.
The loss marked the first time Lehigh lost via the eight-run rule this season.
In game two, Lehigh pounded out 15 hits against Hofstra’s Erin Wade but left 11 runners on base. The game was scoreless through the first four innings, with Lehigh unable to capitalize on six hits, while freshman Emily Bausher kept the Pride hitless through the first four frames.
Lehigh broke through to take the lead with four runs in the top of the fifth inning. With one out and runners on first and second, Colquhoun singled through the right side scoring Roessel. After a walk to junior Liz Lucas, freshman Cassie Waggy delivered a bases-loaded single up the middle scoring senior Audra Wood and Colquhoun. Bausher capped the frame with a sacrifice fly to left that scored Lucas from third.
Hofstra battled back with three runs in the bottom of the inning. After a walk and a hit batsman, Krista Thorn doubled to left for the Pride’s first hit off Bausher, and brought home their first run to make it 4-1 Lehigh. Two batters later D.J. Slugh doubled to left center, scoring two more to cut Lehigh’s lead to one. After a fielder’s choice put another runner aboard, Bausher got out of the jam with a pop out to second base and a fly out to center.
Junior Kristen Mitchell provided Lehigh with some insurance, homering to left field to lead off the sixth inning. The solo shot was her second of the season. Waggy then tacked on another run with a two-out RBI single that brought home Wood.
Again Hofstra answered, scoring two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a solo home run by Tessa Ziemba and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Lindsey Reid. Bausher, though, successfully wiggled out of a no-out, bases-loaded jam with no further damage.
Lehigh was unable to add to its lead in the top of the seventh, but Hofstra forced extra innings as Erin Trippi’s two-out RBI single to left scored pinch runner Tori Rocha to tie the game at six.
In the eighth, Wood led off by hitting a ball that the second baseman Reid could not handle, and raced around the bases to score the go-ahead run on the four-base error.
Hofstra (21-13) put the tying and winning runs aboard with one out in the bottom of the eighth, but Bausher got Bigler to foul out to first base and Galati to fly out to right to end the game.
Bausher moved to 12-8 on the season with the win, allowing six runs on seven hits. She walked four and struck out six on the afternoon. Wade went the distance for Hofstra and allowed seven runs, but only three were earned thanks to four Pride errors. Freshmen Waggy and Emma Capetz led Lehigh with three hits apiece in the nightcap while Colquhoun, Mitchell and Lucas each added two.
The game two win was Lehigh’s first in extra innings this season, after the Mountain Hawks had lost their first three extra-inning games.
The Mountain Hawks will resume Patriot League play this weekend when they head to Worcester, Mass. to face Holy Cross for four games. The teams will play doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday starting at noon both days.