KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Sophomore Emily Bausher tossed a two-hit shutout and freshman Morgan Decker went 2-for-3 as the Lehigh softball team downed Akron 4-0 Monday for its first win at the Rebel Spring Games. The Mountain Hawks had to settle for a split on the second day of action in Florida as Eastern Illinois defeated the Brown and White 8-2 in Monday’s second game.
Decker belted her first career home run against the Panthers, but Eastern Illinois’ Hannah Cole went 3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBI. Lehigh is now 4-4-1 after Monday’s split.
Bausher followed up a 14-strikeout effort in a loss to the Panthers on Sunday by retiring the first 15 Zips she faced on Monday while not allowing a hit through the first six innings. She finished with nine strikeouts and just two walks in seven innings as she improves to 2-1 on the season.
Lehigh raced to a 3-0 lead with three runs in the top of the first inning. Decker laced a one out double that scored freshman Alexis Watanabe. The Mountain Hawks loaded the bases with two outs and two runs came home on an error by Akron shortstop Keelia Nester on a ball hit by sophomore Emma Capetz.
The Mountain Hawks tacked on another run in the seventh as Watanabe drew a leadoff walk and eventually came around to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of senior Liz Lucas.
Shawna Hochstetler spoiled Bausher’s no-hit bit with a leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh. After a strikeout, Akron loaded the bases with another single and a walk, but Bausher got Jessica Schneider to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
Lehigh finished game one with seven hits off losing pitcher Erin Seiler.
In game two, Eastern Illinois (7-6) jumped on senior Becca Bliss with four runs in the first three innings, while Hanna Mennenga and Janele Robinson limited the Mountain Hawks to just two hits.
Melise Brown led off the game by reaching on a two-base error. She then moved to third on a sacrifice before scoring on a single by Cole. EIU extended its lead in the third inning on a two-run home run by Cole and a RBI single by Reynae Hutchinson.
Shortstop Bailey O’Dell extended the Panthers’ lead to 6-0 with a two-run double off junior Ashley Quigley in the top of the fourth.
Lehigh was held to just one base runner through the first four innings, a leadoff walk to Watanabe in the bottom of the first. With one out in the fourth, Decker put Lehigh on the board with a solo home run to right, but the Mountain Hawks trailed by five after four innings.
Cole greeted junior Kelsey Lee with a two-run home run in the sixth to put Eastern Illinois up 8-1, while freshman Jessica Calvini delivered Lehigh’s second hit and RBI with a sixth-inning single that scored junior Lizzy Odren.
Bliss suffered her third loss of the season (2-3), allowing four runs (two earned) on three hits in three innings. The trio of Lehigh pitchers struck out just two Panthers, while Mennenga fanned 13 Mountain Hawks and Robinson added two strikeouts on the afternoon.
Lehigh will continue its Florida trip with two more games on Tuesday. The Mountain Hawks will face Butler at 3 p.m. and Robert Morris at 5 p.m. before a day off on Wednesday.