Patriot League Softball Release - 3.23.12

Army's Morgan Lashley

March 23, 2012

Center Valley, Pa. - With spring break over and home openers beginning, the softball schedule moves towards the Patriot League season following one more weekend of non-League action.

Lehigh and Army each played their home openers during the week, with the Mountain Hawks sweeping Penn on Wednesday after the Black Knights split a pair with Fairleigh Dickinson on Tuesday. Lafayette and Holy Cross join Lehigh by playing at home over the weekend, while Army, Bucknell and Colgate have their weekend tune-ups on the road.

Five teams will have additional non-League action during the week before the Patriot League schedule begins next weekend. Patriot League series are all four-game sets with two games on Saturday and another doubleheader on Sunday. The opening weekend pits Lehigh at Lafayette, Colgate at Bucknell and Holy Cross at Army.

Defending champion Lehigh was picked first in the Patriot League preseason poll, followed in order by Colgate, Army and Holy Cross with Bucknell and Lafayette tying for fifth place.

Patriot League Notebook

Army, Lehigh Boast Top Marks with League Play Nearing
Army and Lehigh will each enter Patriot League action with solid records, the product of some good play from both schools of late. The Black Knights won their final four games on their spring trip, all by one or two runs, and have won five of the last six contests overall. The only loss came in 10 innings against Fairleigh Dickinson on Tuesday. The Mountain Hawks have won three of their last four games to even their record at 11-11. All of the wins came by shutout, with freshman Emily Bausher tossing zeroes against Binghamton on Sunday and Penn Wednesday and junior Rebecca Bliss also shutting out the Quakers to compete a doubleheader sweep at home.

Freshman Pitching Sensation, Part I
Bausher has an incredible resume early in her career, as she already owns a 12-strikeout no-hitter against South Dakota on March 4 to go with consecutive one-hitters with a combined 23 strikeouts in the shutouts of Binghamton and Penn in the past week. Bausher has a 1.39 ERA and a 6-5 record for the season, with 85 strikeouts in 65.1 innings of work.

Freshman Pitching Sensation, Part II
While Bausher has been spectacular, she has at least received a break from other starters on the mound. The same can not be said for Army freshman Morgan Lashley, who has almost single-handedly pitched Army to its 12-9 record. Lashley has started 16 and appeared in 20 of Army's 23 games, and has made the most of her work with a 9-7 record and 2.79 ERA. She has already thrown 108.0 innings, giving up just 109 hits in that span and striking out 79. Lashley was named Patriot League Pitcher of the Week on Monday for going 5-2 with a 1.70 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 49.1 innings pitched at the Rebel Spring Games last week.

Lehigh's Colquhoun Continues to Rack Up Honors
After being named Patriot League and ECAC Player of the Week last Monday, Lehigh's Jen Colquhoun took home another honor from the Patriot League this week. The senior shortstop earned the Patriot League Player of the Week honor for the second straight time after hitting a pair of two-run home runs in Lehigh's doubleheader split against Binghamton and Radford on Sunday. Colquhoun leads the Mountain Hawks with a .411 batting average, five home runs and 17 runs scored and is second on the team with 16 RBIs.

Fregenti Sets Holy Cross Home Run Record
Early in her junior season, Sam Fregenti is already the all-time home run leader at Holy Cross. She cranked a pair of home runs in the spring trip for the Crusaders, breaking the mark while coming through with the game-winning RBIs in a 7-6 win over Yale on March 6.

Fernandez Earns Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Distinction
Lehigh senior first baseman Julie Fernandez has been named as one of 30 candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Softball Award. The award encompasses community, classroom, character and competition. A two-year captain for the Mountain Hawks, Fernandez has excelled in all four areas as one of the top hitters and first basemen in the region and as a behavioral neuroscience major with her sights set on medical school. Fernandez is the only Patriot League softball student-athlete to be named a candidate, joining an impressive list which features All-Americans, Academic All-Americans and more. The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.

Lehigh Picked First in Preseason Softball Poll
After winning its 11th Patriot League title last season, Lehigh has been selected to claim the crown again in 2012 as the Mountain Hawks were picked first in the Patriot League Softball preseason poll. Lehigh took home 48 points and eight first-place votes from coaches and sports information directors, who were not allowed to vote for their own team. Colgate, which won last year's regular-season title, placed second with 44 points and the remaining four first-place votes and was followed in the voting by Army (30) and Holy Cross (26) with Bucknell and Lafayette tying for fifth place with 16 points.

Patriot League Softball Weekly Awards (March 12-18)

Player of the Week
Colquhoun receives her second consecutive Player of the Week honor after an impressive weekend at the Radford Invitational. She started it off with a 3-for-4 outing with a run scored in a 5-4 loss to Binghamton on Saturday. She made her hits count on Sunday, belting two-run home runs in each of Lehigh's contest. It helped the Mountain Hawks top Binghamton 6-0, while Lehigh also fell 4-3 to Radford. Colquhoun leads Lehigh in most statistical categories, including batting average, home runs and RBIs. It is her third career Player of the Week award.

Pitcher of the Week
Lashley was in the circle all week as Army put up a 5-3 record at the Rebel Spring Games. She earned the decision in all but one of the contests, going 5-2 with a 1.70 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 49.1 innings pitched. Lashley opened the week with a complete-game shutout of Akron in a 5-0 victory on Monday, and earned the win in the last four games for Army on the trip. She was especially dominant on Saturday, allowing two earned runs and striking out a career-high eight in a 5-3 eight-inning win over St. Peter's before going the distance without allowing an earned run in a 5-3 victory over Wagner. Lashley allowed just one home run and 11 extra-base hits in her 49.1 innings of work.

Rookie of the Week
Bausher continued her outstanding freshman season for the Mountain Hawks, allowing just two earned runs in 13 innings of work and posting a 1-1 record at the Radford Invitational over the weekend. She struck out six but took the loss in a 3-0 defeat against Radford on Saturday, but came back the next day with a one-hit, 15-strikeout complete-game shutout to lead the Mountain Hawks past Binghamton 6-0. Bausher

Honorable Mentions
Gates allowed five earned runs in 20.1 innings last week, picking up her first-career save in an 8-6 triumph over Howard before throwing a complete-game shutout to beat Columbia 6-0.