Posted: 03/24/2012 | Last updated: March 24, 2012 at 02:04 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Junior Becca Bliss fired her second straight complete game shutout, this one a two-hitter and Lehigh pushed across an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth as the Mountain Hawks beat Harvard 1-0 in game two of a doubleheader Saturday at Kaufman Field. The Crimson built a 3-0 lead in game one and held off a late Lehigh rally to win 3-1.
With the split, Lehigh is now 12-12 on the season, while Harvard stands at 11-5.
Three days after limited in Penn to four hits in a shutout win, Bliss allowed just a first-inning double by Kasey Lange and a fourth inning bloop single by Jane Alexander. Bliss faced just two batters over the minimum, striking out four while walking none to improve to 3-5 on the season.
Laura Ricciardone was equally good for Harvard, limiting Lehigh to just three singles, two of which did not leave the infield. In the bottom of the sixth Lehigh pushed through the only run of the nightcap. Ricciardone hit the leadoff batter, sophomore Lizzy Odren, who then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by junior Rosie Roessel. Junior Audra Wood grounded out for the second out. Senior Jen Colquhoun then hit a ground ball into the hole between shortstop and third base. Alexander made a diving stop to keep the ball on the infield, but then threw high to first base allowing Odren to score the go-ahead run.
Bliss retired the Crimson in order in the seventh to close out the victory.
Saturday’s opening game featured a strong pitching battle between Harvard’s Rachel Brown and Lehigh freshman Emily Bausher.
Harvard broke the scoreless deadlock in the top of the fourth as Alexander led off with a triple to right center and Lange drove her in with a double to left. Two batters later Katie Lantz singled home Lange to give the Crimson a 2-0 lead.
Lehigh had two runners on with one out in the third but couldn’t score and pushed Roessel to third base in the sixth but Brown was able to keep the Mountain Hawks off the scoreboard.
Whitney Shaw extended Harvard’s lead with a seventh-inning RBI single. The Mountain Hawks tried to put together a seventh inning rally as runners reached second and third base with two outs. Freshman Emma Capetz put Lehigh on the scoreboard with a single to center that scored Odren to put the Mountain Hawks down by two. Brown then walked Roessel to load the bases, but struck out Wood to end the game with the tying and winning runs on base.
Brown finished with 13 strikeouts while allowing just a run on four hits. Bausher allowed three runs on seven hits as she falls to 6-6 on the season. She struck out two and did not walk a batter.
The Mountain Hawks and Crimson will close out their series with a doubleheader on Sunday. Start time for game one has once again been moved up to 10 a.m. due to the threat of inclement weather. Sunday’s twinbill will be broadcast online at Lehighsports.com.