Posted: May 6, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Three Lehigh student-athletes earned a total of four spots on the All-Patriot League softball teams, the league announced on Tuesday. Senior center fielder Kate Marvel became just the sixth player in Patriot League history to earn first team All-League honors in four straight years. Marvel is joined on the first team by junior Alisha Gonzales, and by junior Lisa Sweeney, who garnered her third straight first team selection as a pitcher, and added second team honors as an outfielder.
Sweeney continued her run as the league’s dominant pitcher, with a league-best 22-3 record and 1.44 earned run average in 2008. She also broke her own single-season record for strikeouts, fanning 260 batters in over 170 innings of work. Sweeney also enjoyed a record-setting season at the plate, where she leads the Patriot League with a .407 batting average and has set a school single-season record with 13 home runs this season. When not in the pitcher’s circle, Sweeney spent most of her time patrolling left field, and leads the league in a number of offensive categories.
By leading the league in batting average, home runs, RBI (45), wins, ERA and strikeouts, Sweeney is the only player in the nation to lead her conference in the three offensive and pitching triple crown categories. Sweeney has also drawn 35 walks this season, a school and league record.
A mainstay in center field and atop the Lehigh batting order, Marvel earned her fourth straight first team nod batting .338 in her senior campaign, while ranking among the league leaders with 52 hits and 32 runs scored. With 18 walks, Marvel boasts an on-base percentage of .405 and has anchored Lehigh’s outfield defense with a perfect fielding percentage, while adding a pair of outfield assists.
Gonzales’ first team selection rounds out Lehigh’s three honorees and gives the Mountain Hawks an all-league performer at all three outfield spots. In her first full season as Lehigh’s starting right fielder, Gonzales has thrived in the middle of Lehigh’s batting order, hitting behind Sweeney and batting .352 with four home runs and 28 runs batted in. Gonzales led the Mountain Hawks in Patriot League play with a .404 average.
Despite capturing its tenth straight Patriot League regular season title, the Mountain Hawks’ four selections are their fewest since 1998 when Lehigh also had just four honorees.
The Patriot League will announce its four major award winners on Wednesday.
Lehigh (35-14-1) will host the Patriot League tournament for the seventh straight year beginning Thursday at Kaufman Field. The top seed Mountain Hawks will face No. 4 seed Army in the opening round with first pitch set for 2 p.m. Thursday’s second game pits No. 2 seed Lafayette against No. 3 Bucknell. Thursday’s Lehigh-Army game, and all of Lehigh’s postseason action will be broadcast online at lehighsports.com, with streaming powered by Yahoo! Sports. Audio coverage on Thursday begins at 1:45 p.m.