WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross Softball team suffered 7-0 and 5-1 losses to conference frontrunner Lehigh on Saturday afternoon at Freshman Field on Senior Day. The Crusaders were only able to tally one hit off Mountain Hawks' ace Emily Bausher in game one and were hitless through three innings of game two before generating five hits and one run. Senior Gwen Reimer (Pottsville, Pa.) went two-for-three in game two to lead the Crusaders. Prior to the start of game one, the Crusaders recognized Reimer and her two senior classmates, Nicole Ortiz (Whittier, Calif.) and Camille Trainor (Worcester, Mass.), in a brief ceremony.
The Mountain Hawks tallied two runs on four hits in the top of the first inning to take the early 2-0 advantage. The Crusaders got out of the inning on a nice defensive play as Bausher singled and junior left fielder Jenna Legros (Sandy Hook, Conn.) came up throwing to record the 7-5-2 putout of Liz Lucas at home plate to end the inning. Sophomore pitcher Julia Barrett (Garadner, Mass.) worked her way out of a second and third jam with no outs in the top of the second inning by getting two pop outs and a ground out to keep the Crusaders close. Sophomore Alex Gustafson (Medford, Mass.) knocked a one-out double into right center field in the bottom of the second for the only Holy Cross hit of the game.
The Mountain Hawks added to its lead in the top of the fifth inning when Jacqi Kennelly led off with a double to right center field. Audra Wood reached on an error during a bunt attempt and Kennelly came all the way around to score on the play. After Jennifer Colquhoun walked, Julie Fernandez flied out to center field moving Wood to third and Colquhoun to second. Wood was able to score on a past ball, moving Colquhoun to third, and Lucas hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring in Colquhoun and give the Mountain Hawks the 5-0 advantage.
Legros came on to pitch for Holy Cross in the top of the sixth inning and Lehigh was able to add two more runs with two outs in the top of the seventh to take game one by a score of 7-0. Bausher (13-8) received the win going five complete innings giving up just one run and striking out 10. Ashley Quigley came on in relief to start to bottom of the sixth inning and allowed no runs on no hits while striking out one. Barrett (4-11) suffered the loss for the Crusaders, pitching five complete innings and allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits while striking out one. Legros went two innings allowing two runs on two hits while also striking out one.
Lehigh took the early lead once again in game two as Emma Capetz singled to score two runs in the top of the first inning. Trainor, who was called on to start in the circle, was able to hold the Mountain Hawks scoreless through the middle innings but Lehigh added some insurance runs in the top of the sixth. Lucas led off with a single and advanced to third on the play due to an error. Cassie Waggy then doubled to right center field to make the score 3-0. After back-to-back outs, Kristen Mitchell singled to left field allowing Waggy to score. Lehigh strung together two more singles and Mitchell scored in the process to give the Mountain Hawks the 5-0 advantage.
The Crusaders responded in the bottom of the sixth with three hits. Ortiz singled and freshman Ashleigh Vargas (Wakefield, Mass.) came on to pinch run. Junior Kat Rosenthal (Boston, Mass.) singled off the third base bag and Vargas and Rosenthal advanced to second and third, respectively, on a past ball. Vargas came in to score the lone run for the Crusaders on a throwing error by the catcher attempting to pick her off at third. Holy Cross was unable to bring any other runs across and despite a leadoff single by sophomore Kelliner Croushore (Claremont, Calif.) in the bottom of the seventh inning, Lehigh pitcher Rebecca Bliss earned the complete game victory.
Bliss (11-6) went seven innings allowing one unearned run on five hits while striking out four. Trainor (2-2) suffered the loss giving up five runs (three earned) on 10 hits and striking out two. Lehigh improved to 27-15 (10-0 Patriot League) on the season.
The Crusaders (6-24, 1-9 Patriot League) will play games three and four of this four-game series with Lehigh tomorrow, April 15, in a twin bill beginning at 12:00 p.m.