Lehigh opens Patriot League Tournament with 2-0 shutout of Lafayette
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Freshman Emily Bausher went the distance on a two-hitter and seniors Jen Colquhoun and Julie Fernandez each drove in a run as Lehigh opened the Patriot League Tournament with a 2-0 shutout of Lafayette Thursday at Kaufman Field. With the win Lehigh (38-17) moves into the winner’s bracket where the Mountain Hawks will face Army Friday at 11 a.m.
While it took Lehigh’s bats some time to get going, Bausher showed no signs of rust from the Mountain Hawks’ 11 day layoff as she improved to 17-10 with her sixth shutout of the season. Bausher allowed just two fourth-inning singles and walked two, while striking out ten for her fifth double digit strikeout game of the season.
“She was just herself,” Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan said of his freshman right hander. “She got ahead in the count and when she gets to two strikes they have to chase a little bit. She did a great job.”
Bausher retired the Leopards in order in the top of the first and then Lehigh started strong against Lafayette’s Melissa Robinson. Junior Rosie Roessel led off with a bunt single and then stole second, before moving to third on an infield single by senior Audra Wood. Wood then stole second to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Colquhoun hit a sacrifice fly to right for her 48th RBI of the season, scoring Roessel to put Lehigh up 1-0.
Robinson eventually settled in for Lafayette, retiring 12 straight Mountain Hawks at one point. The Leopards’ biggest threat came in the fifth inning when they put runners on at first and second after a single, a botched sacrifice that resulted in a force play and a walk. Lafayette loaded the bases with two outs after senior Tenley Halaquist lost a Robinson popup in the sun for an infield hit, but Bausher got Carly Feiro to pop out to second base to end the threat.
Lehigh’s bats began to wake up in the sixth when Wood hit a one-out line drive off third baseman Lauren Murphy that became a two-base hit. Colquhoun moved Wood to third with an infield single off of Robinson and then Fernandez brought Wood home with a double down the right field line. The hit was the 258th of Fernandez’s career, which sets a new Lehigh and Patriot League record. Fernandez also set a Lehigh and Patriot League single season record with her 22nd doubles. Wood’s run scored tied her for the school and Patriot League record in that category, tying her with Kim Miller ’96 at 171.
In the seventh, Bausher struck out Stacey Dorn and then retired Robinson on a pop up to third and Feiro on a ground ball to third to end the game.
“Fortunately for us, Emily didn’t have much rust pitching,” Troyan said. “It was a typical first game. We had been off for more than a week and just got done with finals. This was a great game for us to get the rust off and I told the team we’re going to get better every game.”
Lehigh will next face an Army that downed Colgate 4-3 behind a sixth-inning RBI single by Rachael Duval.
Friday’s Lehigh-Army game will get underway at 11 a.m. from Lehigh’s Kaufman Field. Lafayette and Colgate will then meet in an elimination game at 1:30 p.m., with the final game of the day matching the loser of Friday’s first game with the winner of its second game. Streaming audio of all of Lehigh’s Patriot League Tournament action can be heard online through Patriot League All-Access.