Posted: April 22, 2005
Bethlehem, PA – The top two teams in the Patriot League did battle for 16 innings and in the end Lehigh clinched its seventh consecutive Patriot League regular season championship on Friday afternoon as the Mountain Hawks swept a doubleheader from Army on senior day at Kaufman Field. The Mountain Hawks needed extra innings to edge the Black Knights 4-3 in game one, and then held off Army by a 3-1 score in the nightcap. Lehigh is now 35-7 on the season and a perfect 18-0 in the Patriot League with two more league contests remaining. Army is now 27-19, 12-6 in league play.
In game one the Mountain Hawks jumped ahead in the first inning. With two outs Taryn Hanley tripled and then Mary Wieder and Jess Young followed with RBI doubles to put Lehigh up 2-0. The Brown and White added a third run in the second when Kate Marvel singled in Julie Sterrett.
Army battled back scoring runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to tie the game at three. The Black Knights had the go-ahead run on third with one out in the seventh, when pinch hitter Kelly Trout hit a line drive right at Mountain Hawks left fielder Whitney Schenbeck, who made the catch and doubled Andi Alexander off third base.
The game stayed tied until the bottom of the ninth, with two outs Katherine Wegert walked, then Taryn Hanley singled to right field. Black Knights’ right fielder Veronica Barth bobbled the ball and Wegert came all the way around from first to score the winning run.
Emily Ling pitched all nine innings for the Mountain Hawks yielding just one earned run on five hits, while striking out four. Ling improves to 16-5 on the season and set a new Patriot League record with her 61st career victory.
Lehigh again played three runs in the first two innings of the nightcap. Hanley singled with two out in the first, then Wieder stepped up and smashed a two-run home run to right centerfield, her third jack of the season to give the Mountain Hawks the early lead. Sterrett then came all the way around to score in the second when her single was misplayed in left field by Army’s Lindsay Gerheim.
Heather Hamasaki went the first five innings in the circle, allowing just one run on four hits, striking out two as she improves to 7-0 on the season. Kate Arico pitched the final two innings for her second save.
“I knew they would be a good team, but they’re even better than I thought,” said head coach Fran Troyan afterwards. “Even though we’ve had a lot of success, anyone is capable of winning the tournament. We need to keep composed and keep our energy level up from first pitch to last.”
The Mountain Hawks will host the Patriot League Tournament next Saturday and Sunday at Kaufman Field for the third consecutive year, since the league went to the highest seed format.
Lehigh and Army were scheduled to wrap up their series with a Saturday doubleheader, but the threat of foul weather has forced the twinbill to be postponed until Sunday. First pitch between the Mountain Hawks and Black Knights is set for noon from Kaufman Field.