Softball pitchers Bliss, Bausher capture PL weekly awards
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh softball pitching staff allowed a total of four runs in six games last week and on Monday a pair of Mountain Hawk hurlers were recognized with Patriot League weekly awards. Junior Rebecca Bliss threw three shutouts last week and was named Patriot League Pitcher of the Week, while freshman Emily Bausher added third shutout of the season and was named Rookie of the Week for the third time this season.
The Mountain Hawks tuned up for the upcoming Patriot League campaign by sweeping a doubleheader from Penn on Wednesday and splitting a four-game weekend series with defending Ivy League Champion Harvard. Lehigh is now 13-13 overall heading into a non-league doubleheader with Fordham on Wednesday.
Bliss enjoyed one of the best runs of her Lehigh career to date, throwing three consecutive complete game shutouts, while allowing just nine hits in 21 innings of work. The Escondido, California native went the distance on a four-hitter in Wednesday’s nightcap against Penn and then threw back-to-back shutouts against Harvard, firing a two-hitter in Saturday’s second game and a three-hit shutout in Sunday’s opener.
In the three outings Bliss struck out eight batters and did not issue a walk. She faced just two batters over the minimum in both of her wins over the Crimson. Bliss is now 4-5 on the season and all four wins have been complete game shutouts. Her previous win this season was a one-hitter in a 7-0 win over Sacred Heart back on March 5. Bliss lowered her season ERA to 2.30 and has now thrown 10 career shutouts.
Bausher efforts were almost as good as Bliss’ but the freshman right hander did suffer a pair of losses to the Crimson in games where Lehigh’s offense was limited to just one run.
The New Egypt, N.J. native opened the week with her second straight one-hit shutout in the Mountain Hawks’ 3-0 win over Penn in game one of the doubleheader. Bausher allowed just a fourth-inning leadoff single and walked three while striking out eight as she picked up her sixth win and third shutout of the season.
In two outings against Harvard, Bausher pitched well but came up on the short end of a 3-1 loss in the series opener on Saturday and a 1-0, nine-inning setback in Sunday’s series finale. Bausher struck out 19 batters on the week to increase her team-leading total to 96. She posted a 1.22 earned run average last week to move her season ERA to 1.46. The award marked Bausher’s third Rookie of the Week honor of the season and her second in as many weeks.
The Mountain Hawks will return to action on Wednesday when they host the Fordham Rams in a doubleheader at Kaufman Field. First pitch for game one is set for 3 p.m. with audio coverage online at Lehighsports.com. Patriot League play begins Saturday when Lehigh opens up a four-game series at rival Lafayette.