BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The third weekend of Patriot League play sees the Lehigh softball team off to Worcester, Massachusetts for four games against Holy Cross. The Mountain Hawks enter the weekend leading the Patriot League standings by a game over Colgate and can potentially clinch a Patriot League tournament berth with a strong showing against the Crusaders.
Lehigh has won 14 of its last 18 games overall and has started league play with four-game sweeps of Lafayette and Bucknell, outscoring the Leopards and Bison 69-4 in eight games.
Last time out, Lehigh split a doubleheader at northeast regional power Hofstra on Wednesday, rebounding from a 10-1, five inning loss in the opener to win the nightcap 7-6 in eight innings. Senior Jen Colquhoun tied a school record with her 13th home run of the season in game one, while freshman Cassie Waggy had three hits and three RBI to lead Lehigh in the game two win.
The Mountain Hawks currently lead the league in battling with a .317 average, and are batting an incredible .429 in league games. Senior Julie Fernandez leads the league in hitting at .436, while Colquhoun is right behind her at .433. Colquhoun leads the Patriot League in hits (55) runs (36), triples (five), home runs (13) and RBI (42).
Junior centerfielder Rosie Roessel has also come on as of late, hitting a league-best .593 in league games to increase her overall average to .379.
Despite a rough day against Hofstra, Lehigh’s pitching has been the strongest and the deepest in the league. Lehigh leads the league in ERA at 2.10 and has pitched to an impressive 0.61 mark in league play. Freshman Emily Bausher and junior Becca Bliss are both 4-0 in the circle in league games. Bausher has not allowed a run yet in league play through 19 innings of work. She also leads the staff with 137 strikeouts in 121.1 innings of work.
Holy Cross comes in at 6-22 overall and just 1-7 in league games. The Crusaders had dropped eight of their last nine games before sweeping a doubleheader from Hartford on Thursday, winning 12-4 and 6-4 at home. Holy Cross was swept in four games at Army on the opening weekend of league play and then dropped three of four games to Lafayette at home last weekend.
The Crusader offense is led by Kelliner Croushore and Sam Fregenti. Croushore is hitting .328 with ten RBI, while Fregenti leads Holy Cross with three home runs and 13 RBI and is hitting .313. Julia Barrett has thrown the most innings in the circle, and despite a 4-10 record has a solid 2.11 ERA.
Last year Lehigh and Holy Cross met five times, with the Mountain Hawks winning three-of-four games in Bethlehem, and then capturing a 6-4 win in the opening game of the Patriot League Tournament.
Lehigh and Holy Cross will play doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday with first pitch on both days set for noon. Following the series in Worcester, Lehigh will return to Kaufman Field for its next six games; a doubleheader vs. Princeton on Wednesday and a four-game set with Colgate April 21-22.