WORCESTER, Mass. – The Lehigh softball team reached the halfway point of Patriot League play at 10-0 and inched closer to clinching a tournament berth as the Mountain Hawks swept a doubleheader from Holy Cross Saturday at Freshman Field. Freshman Emily Bausher teamed with sophomore Ashley Quigley on a one-hitter as Lehigh took the opener 7-0, while junior Becca Bliss led the Mountain Hawks to a 5-1 win in the nightcap.
With the sweep Lehigh improves to 27-15 overall. The Mountain Hawks recorded five consecutive shutouts in league play and were bidding for a sixth before Holy Cross scored an unearned run in the sixth inning of game two. The Crusaders are now 6-24 overall and 1-9 in league games.
Junior Liz Lucas led Lehigh at the plate in game one with a pair of hits and two runs batted in. Lehigh raced out to an early lead with two runs in the top of the first as senior Julie Fernandez doubled home classmate Jen Colquhoun and then Bausher singled to left to score Fernandez.
The Mountain Hawks tacked on three runs in the top of the fifth as junior Jacqi Kennelly led off with a double and then scored when senior Audra Wood reached on a throwing error. Wood eventually scored on a passed ball and then Lucas hit a sacrifice fly to left scoring Colquhoun.
The Crusaders recorded two quick outs in the seventh before Lehigh added two more runs. The rally started when Fernandez drew a walk. Lucas then doubled to left center, scoring Fernandez to make it 6-0. Sophomore Kristin Taft then delivered a pinch-hit single scoring Lucas to put the Mountain Hawks up by seven.
Bausher extended her scoreless innings streak in league play to 24, allowing just an Alex Gustafson double in the second inning. She struck out ten and walked three as she improves to 13-8 on the season. Sophomore Ashley Quigley pitched two scoreless, hitless frames to close out the game one win.
Julia Barrett took the loss, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits in five innings.
Lehigh started fast in game two as well, scoring two runs in the first on a two-out, bases-loaded, two-run single by freshman Emma Capetz that scored Fernandez and Lucas.
In the sixth, Lehigh’s lead grew to 5-0 as Lucas led off with a single and moved to third on a two-base error. Freshman Cassie Waggy brought home pinch-runner Lizzy Odren with a double to right center. Junior Kristen Mitchell delivered a two-out single to left, scoring Waggy and then after taking second on the throw home, Mitchell scored on a Kennelly single to put the Mountain Hawks up by five.
Bliss faced the minimum through the first five innings, allowing just a fourth-inning single by Gwen Reimer. Holy Cross scored its only run of the day in the bottom of the sixth as Ashleigh Vargas scored from third on a throwing error by Lucas on a Crusader stolen base attempt.
Bliss ended up allowing the one unearned run on five hits, striking out four and walking none as she moves to 11-6 on the year. Camille Trainor took the loss for Holy Cross allowing five runs on ten hits. Colquhoun and Lucas each had two hits to lead Lehigh in the nightcap.
The Mountain Hawks and Crusaders will wrap-up their four-game series with a doubleheader Sunday at noon at Freshman Field. Lehigh will clinch a Patriot League tournament berth with a doubleheader sweep.