Posted: May 1, 2004
Bethlehem, PA – Lehigh softball coach Fran Troyan stated the entire regular season was devoted to prepping the team for the Patriot League softball tournament.
Judging by the results of the first day, it appears that preparation has paid off.
The Mountain Hawks shutout both their opponents in Saturday’s games, blanking Bucknell 5-0 in the morning game and taking a 1-0 victory over Army to move into the championship finals on Sunday.
In the first game of the day, Lehigh took down the No. 4 seed Bucknell Bison 5-0 on the strength of a complete game one-hitter from starter Emily Ling. Ling was dominant throughout, retiring the last 19 batters she faced.
Ling (14-4) started out the game a little rusty, as she hit Jen James to lead off the game then gave up a single to Lauren Wible. But that would be the only hit she would allow on the afternoon, as she set down the side in order in each of the last six innings. Ling also struck out eight batters en route to her sixth shutout of the season.
Lehigh jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, as the Mountain Hawks scored a run on an RBI double by Jessica Young to plate Shana Treon.
In the second inning, Lehigh would load the bases with nobody out, and Whitney Schenbeck delivered a base hit to score two and the rout was on.
Kelly Kliewer would add a two-RBI double in the fifth to complete the scoring.
In the second game against Army, Heather Hamasaki (10-9) proved equal to Ling, no-hitting the Black Knights through the first five innings before giving up two singles in the sixth. At one point, the Mountain Hawks pitching staff had retired 31 consecutive batters before Hamasaki issued a walk in the fifth inning.
The only run of the game came in the second inning, when Kelly Kliewer lined a base hit up the middle to score Mary Wieder from third. Kliewer finished the day with three hits and three RBIs to lead the team.
Lehigh managed only four hits in the game against Army pitcher Leigh Harrell (14-11), but Hamasaki made it stand with her fourth shutout of the year.
Over the two games, Ling and Hamasaki combined to give up just three hits and no runs in 14 innings.
In other action, Army defeated Colgate in the second game 2-1 in ten innings to earn the right to face Lehigh. In the first elimination game of the day following that, Colgate ended Bucknell’s season with a 3-1 victory.
In the last game of the day, Army pounded out 12 hits in a 5-2 win over Colgate to earn a rematch with the Mountain Hawks in Sunday's championship round.
The championship game has been moved up to begin at 9:00am Sunday morning in preparation for bad weather, with the second game beginning 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first if necessary. All of the action will be available with an audio broadcast on Lehigh’s website at www.lehighsports.com.