BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh softball team will look to continue its recent winning ways as the Mountain Hawks return home this weekend to host Bucknell for a pair of doubleheaders in their Patriot League home opener. Opening pitch Saturday is set for 1 p.m. from Kaufman Field, while Sunday’s action will get underway at noon.
The Mountain Hawks (20-14, 4-0 PL) are coming off a road split with Rider Wednesday. The team rebounded after a game one loss to defeat the Broncos 5-2 in the second half of a doubleheader. Overall, Lehigh has won seven of its last eight contests, including a four-game sweep of rival Lafayette in its only Patriot League action so far.
The Mountain Hawks offense continues to produce, as senior Audra Wood led the way in game two with two hits and two timely RBIs to help the Mountain Hawks earn the victory. For the season, seniors Julie Fernandez and Jennifer Colquhoun continue to lead the offense. Fernandez is hitting a team-high .433 with 45 hits, 23 RBIs and a team-high 11 doubles, while Colquhoun has 45 hits, 28 runs scored, ten home runs, four triples and 31 RBIs, all team-highs while maintaining a .409 batting average.
As a team, the Mountain Hawks are batting .305 and have almost twice as many hits (289) as strikeouts (150). They have outscored opponents 147-87 on the season.
In the pitcher’s circle, junior Becca Bliss won her seventh straight decision Wednesday. The two-run complete game saw her move to 8-5 on the season with a 2.14 ERA. She recorded five strikeouts to bring her season total to 46.
Freshman Emily Bausher continues to pace the staff with an ERA of 1.53, with 124 strikeouts in 105.1 innings of work, along with 12 complete games in 15 starts this season. The staff has a combined ERA of 1.90, and opponents are batting .223 against the Mountain Hawks.
Bucknell (6-19, 0-4 PL) is coming off of a second-game win against La Salle in a doubleheader Wednesday, snapping an 11-game losing streak that dated back to March 16. The Bison dropped four home games to Colgate in their Patriot League opener last weekend. Bucknell won the Patriot League title in 2010 and went 28-20 a season ago, but did not qualify for the Patriot League Tournament.
Senior Meredith Dickson leads the Bison bats with a .328 average and 22 hits on the year. The pitching staff carries a combined ERA of 5.55, led by junior Bridget Gates with a 4.00 ERA, while her classmate Alex MacLean has a team-high 44 strikeouts.
Lehigh won three out of four games from Bucknell last year in Lewisburg.
Saturday’s doubleheader begins at 1 p.m. with audio coverage online at Lehighsports.com. Former Lehigh outfielder and team captain Carly Potock will join Steve Lomangino for the call. Sunday’s twinbill starts at noon.
Following the Bucknell series, Lehigh will embark on a six-game road trip, with a Wednesday doubleheader at Hofstra and four league games at Holy Cross next weekend.