Posted: May 21, 2005
Tucson, AZ – Lehigh led Princeton 1-0 after five innings of Saturday afternoon’s NCAA Tournament elimination game at Arizona’s Hillenbrand Stadium. The Mountain Hawks however, were unable to hold the lead as the Tigers scored three times in the top of the sixth, then held off Lehigh rallies in each of the final two innings to win the game 3-1 and end the Mountain Hawks season. The loss is Lehigh’s second of the double-elimination regional as the Brown and White wrap up another successful season with a final record of 41-10.
After being no-hit against Arizona on Friday night the Mountain Hawks picked up their first hit of the regional tournament when senior Jess Young delivered a first inning single. Young later put Lehigh ahead 1-0 with a monstrous home run to left field in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Emily Ling started in the circle for the Mountain Hawks, and pitched well through the first five innings, working her way out of a couple jams without any damage done. The Tigers finally got to Ling in the top of the sixth inning as Princeton took the lead on three consecutive two-out singles. Ty Ries gave Princeton the lead with a two run single, then Tiffany Andres singled to right field to tack on an insurance run.
The Mountain Hawks had chances in each of the final two frames. They loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth, but pinch hitter Lauren Haney was retired on a pop-up to second base. In its final at-bat Lehigh had runners on second and third base with two out, but freshman Taryn Hanley popped up to first base to end the game.
“It’s a game of inches and today we came up a bit short,” said Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan.
Princeton now moves on to face Oklahoma State Saturday night with the winner advancing to the championship round against Arizona, who defeated the Cowgirls 3-0 in Saturday’s first game.
It was another successful season for Lehigh softball in 2005. The Mountain Hawks established a new school and Patriot League record with 41 victories, while claiming their seventh straight regular season championship and second consecutive Patriot League Tournament title and NCAA regional berth.
TIDBITS FROM TUCSON … When a trio of Arizona pitchers no-hit Lehigh on Friday night, the feat marked the fourth no-hitter thrown in Friday’s NCAA action in the 64-team field … Game time temperature on Saturday for the Princeton game was a record-setting 106 degrees. The average high in Tucson at this time of the year is 91 … Jessica Young’s fourth inning home run in the Princeton game Saturday afternoon broke a scoreless string of 29 innings for Lehigh in NCAA play, dating back to the Mountain Hawks’ 2-0 victory over Seton Hall in Norman, Okla. in 2001 … Young’s home run also marked Lehigh’s first-ever long ball in NCAA tournament play.
Photo © 2005, Patti Ota