Softball Splits Doubleheader With Conference Frontrunner Lehigh

Sam Fregenti

WORCESTER, Mass. – Senior Nicole Ortiz (Whittier, Calif.) capped off a two run, three hit seventh inning in game two of Sunday's doubleheader against Lehigh at Freshman Field by driving a single up the middle to bring in the winning run as the Crusaders walked off with a 2-1 victory. Sophomore starting pitcher Julia Barrett (Gardner, Mass.) went seven complete innings giving up just one run on six hits and striking out three to earn her fifth victory of the season. The Mountain Hawks took game one of the twin bill by a score of 10-0 in five innings.

Game One

The Mountain Hawks took the lead early in game one and never looked back plating 10 runs in four innings. Jennifer Colquhoun got the Mountain Hawks on the board in the top of the first inning by hitting a sacrifice fly to right field. Julie Fernandez then doubled to left center field to drive in Audra Wood and gave Lehigh the 2-0 advantage. After a scoreless second inning, the Mountain Hawks put up three runs in the top of the third and five runs in the top of the fourth. With Lehigh up by more than eight runs after five complete innings, the Mountain Hawks earned the 10-0 victory.

Lehigh pitcher Rebecca Bliss shut down the Holy Cross offense going four complete innings and retiried the Crusaders in order, including striking out four. Kelsey Lee came on in relief to start the bottom of the fifth inning and was able to keep the trend going by downing the Crusaders one-two-three to end the game.

Crusader senior pitcher Camille Trainor (Worcester, Mass.) suffered the loss falling to 2-3 on the season going four innings allowing 10 runs (eight earned) on 10 hits. Junior Jenna Legros (Sandy Hook, Conn.) pitched one inning in relief and got two fly outs and one ground out to retire Lehigh in order in the top of the fifth.

Game Two

After a scoreless two innings the Mountain Hawks were able to move a run across in the top of the third inning when Wood reached on a single up the middle. She stole second and Colquhoun doubled over the head of the right fielder to drive in Wood and give Lehigh the 1-0 lead. Lehigh pitcher Emily Bausher retired 20 batters in a row following a lead off hit in the bottom of the first inning by senior Gwen Reimer (Pottsville, Pa.), but the Crusaders' bats came alive in the bottom of the seventh.

With the Mountain Hawks still holding the 1-0 advantage and Holy Cross down to its last out, junior Sam Fregenti (Mellville, N.Y) doubled down the right field line to spark the Crusaders. Freshman Ashleigh Vargas (Wakefield, Mass.) came on to pinch run and sophomore Alex Gustafson (Medford, Mass.) promptly singled to center field to drive in Vargas and tie the game 1-1. Gustafson advanced to second on the throw home and was replaced by freshman pinch runner Cassie Girvalo (Putnam Valley, N.Y.). Ortiz then lined a single into center field and with the throw offline the sliding Girvalo gave the Crusaders the walk-off victory and handed Lehigh its first conference loss in the process.

Barrett now stands at 5-11 on the season. Bausher moves to 13-9 going six and two-thirds innings giving up two runs on four hits while striking out seven. Lehigh is now 28-16 overall and 11-1 in the Patriot League.  

The Crusaders (7-25, 2-10 Patriot League) will close out its current 12-game home stand with a doubleheader versus Siena on Tuesday, April 17, beginning at 3:00 p.m.