HAMILTON, N.Y. – Senior Caitlin Belanger (Fall River, Mass.) pitched five strong innings, striking out four and also knocked out a home run as the No. 3-seeded Holy Cross softball team dropped a 6-4 decision against No. 2 seed Lehigh at Eaton Street Field in the first game of the Patriot League Tournament. With the day's results, the Crusaders combine for a record of 18-30 while the Mountain Hawks move to 31-21. Belanger went one-for-three at the plate, notching one RBI and one run scored.
Lehigh took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, scoring on two hits. The Crusaders came back with two runs in the top of the second as sophomore Sam Fregenti (Melville, N.Y.) registered her 10th home run of the season in the first at-bat. Junior Gwen Reimer (Pottsville, Pa.) then followed with a single and then scored the second run on an error by the Lehigh first baseman. The squad would add another run to make it a 3-1 game in the top of the fourth as freshman Alex Gustafson (Medford, Mass.) collected her first career triple, scoring senior Erin Fleming (Townsend, Mass.). The Mountain Hawks would put together three runs in the bottom half of the inning, going ahead 4-3.
After Holy Cross came up scoreless in the top of the fifth inning, Lehigh scored twice on three hits to pull out by three runs, 6-3. Freshman Kali Haas (Longmont, Calif.) replaced Belanger in the top of the sixth, keeping the Mountain Hawks from scoring again. Belanger then gave the Crusaders its final run, going yard for the third time this season in the top of the seventh. Holy Cross could not find a way to score again, falling by the 6-4 final.
Belanger finishes with the loss, dropping to 4-11 on the year after pitching the five innings, allowing four runs on six hits and striking out four. Lehigh's starter, Ashley Quigley, picks up the win, improving to 13-11 on the season. She pitched four innings, allowing three runs on six hits and collecting six strikeouts. In all, Holy Cross scored four runs on seven hits, making two errors while the Mountain Hawks combined for six runs on 13 hits, totaling one error. Reimer led the Holy Cross offense with two hits and also scored one run.
The Crusaders will now play Army at 2:30 p.m. tomorrow at Eaton Street Field in Hamilton N.Y.