BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Winners of their last five games, the Mountain Hawks travel to New York on Wednesday to face the Hofstra Pride for a midweek doubleheader. Lehigh has won 11 of its last 12 games, including a weekend sweep of league rival Bucknell, but will be tested Wednesday against a Hofstra team that has been equally hot as of late and has perennially been one of the strongest programs in northeast softball.
The sweep of Bucknell moved Lehigh to 24-14 overall and 8-0 in league play. The Mountain Hawks outscored the Bison by a 34-0 margin and have now outscored Bucknell and Lafayette by a combined 69-4 margin in eight league contests. Both of Lehigh’s top two pitchers were recognized by the Patriot League after strong weeks. Freshman Emily Bausher was named the league’s Rookie of the Week for the fourth consecutive week after combining on two shutouts versus the Bison, while Rebecca Bliss earned an honorable mention from the league after going 3-0 while allowing just one earned run in 16 innings pitched.
Bausher is enjoying one the finer freshman seasons in Lehigh history. The New Jersey native has a team-best 1.42 ERA and has pitched 12 complete games, allowing only 23 earned runs this season. Bausher’s 131 strikeouts lead the team by far in addition to allowing only 69 hits. Bausher has come on strong at the plate as well. She has registered 10 hits and 11 RBIs this season with six hits and six RBIs coming in her last six starts.
The Lehigh bats were also crucial to last week’s success. Senior Jen Colquhoun led the way as she batted .500 for the week with three home runs and 10 RBIs. Colquhoun was named the Patriot League Player of the Week for the third time this season. She has been on a tear since league play began as she continues to sit among the team leaders in several major categories. Colquhoun is first in home runs (12), hits (51), and runs scored (34).
Hofstra has won 14 straight after enduring a tough start to the season against strong competition. The Pride has not lost since a 3-2 setback to Maine on March 18. Since then Hofstra has gone 8-0 in CAA games, beating Georgia State, Drexel and Delaware, while also posting wins against Iona, Long Island, Rutgers and Binghamton. The Pride will host Central Connecticut State in a doubleheader on Tuesday.
Olivia Galati is Hofstra’s most versatile and perhaps most important player. Galati has earned several conference weekly awards this season for her hitting and pitching. Galati is second on the team in batting average (.333) and tied for third in hits (29) and home runs (3). She has scored 22 runs, which leads the team.
Galati serves as the team’s primary pitcher, pitching in 24 of the team’s 30 games. She is 13-5 on the season and her 1.48 ERA leads the team. Galati has struck out 162 batters in 128 innings of work.
Lehigh and Hofstra split a doubleheader last season at Kaufman Field. After Galati pitched a three-hitter to propel Hofstra to a 6-0 victory in the first game, the Mountain Hawks won the second game 4-2 on junior Liz Lucas’ go-ahead single. Hofstra leads the all-time series 13-3.
Wednesday’s games will take place at Hofstra’s Softball Stadium, with first pitch for game one set for 3:30 p.m. The Mountain Hawks will resume Patriot League play with four weekend games at Holy Cross.
Story by Antoine Williams ‘12