May 12, 2012
West Point, N.Y. -
Junior RHP Rebecca Bliss fired a two-hit shutout as defending champion and top-seed Lehigh defeated second-seeded Army, 2-0, in Saturday's Patriot League Championship game at Kaufman Field. It is the 12th league title won by the Mountain Hawks in the league's 22-year history.
It is the first time Army advanced to the championship game since 2006 and is the 11th time overall. The Black Knights (37-21) shattered the school mark for wins compiling 37, breaking the former mark of 33. It is the fourth time in school history that Army recorded a 30-win season and second time under head coach Michelle DePolo, who has collected 98 wins in three years at the helm.
Alexis AuBuchon, Rachael Duval and Morgan Lashley were named to the Patriot League All-Tournament team as Army posted a 2-2 mark.
Bliss won a pitcher's duel with Lashley, the league's Pitcher and Rookieof the Year, when the Mountain Hawks snapped a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth inning on Kristen Mitchell's two-run double for a 1-0 lead. Lashley (33-16), who threw a five-hitter, struck out a batter and walked two, denied Lehigh the insurance run in stranding Mitchell at third base.
Lehigh plated an insurance run in bottom of the sixth inning on Cassie Waggy's sacrifice fly to left field with one out. Bliss (19-6), who scattered two hits, struck out five and issued one walk, worked her way out of a jam in the top of the seventh to pressure the win.
With one out, Lehigh committed its lone error when Alexis AuBuchon reached on the third baseman's error. Following the second out, Bliss issued her lone walk to Duval as Army reached second base for just the second time in the game. The junior hurler retired the next batter on a strikeout as Lehigh became the first team in league history to shut out all of its opponents posting a 3-0 mark.
Duval and Ali Cleinmark collected a single off Bliss.