Patriot League Softball Release - 3.26.14

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Army's Amanda Nguyen
Army's Amanda Nguyen

March 26, 2014

Patriot League Softball Release - 3.26.14 Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - After starting the season 4-10 against a challenging non-conference schedule, Lehigh has run off seven straight wins heading into Wednesday's doubleheader at Villanova.

Patriot League Notebook

*New Lafayette head coach Jexx Varner earned his first Patriot League win when the Leopards beat Holy Cross on Saturday.
*Boston University has a team batting average of .323 (226-for-700) which ranks 20th in NCAA Division I.
*Bucknell junior SS Cyndee Sanders is in the top 25 nationally with a .458 batting average (33-for-72).
*Army's Amanda Nguyen has stolen 14 bases in 15 attempts; BU's Moriah Connolly is a perfect 12-for-12.
*Lehigh has won seven straight after starting 4-10 against a challenging non-conference schedule.

Boston University Scheduled to Play First Patriot League Softball Game
The Terriers have been road warriors this season, traveling to South Carolina, Florida and California for warmer weather and some out of conference softball opponents. With just one week left in the month of March, Boston University has yet to have a game on its home field or play a Patriot League contest. That all should change in the coming days (weather permitting) as the Terriers are scheduled to welcome Providence for their home opener on Thursday and also will play their inaugural Patriot League game when they travel for a series at Army this weekend.

Army, Colgate and Holy Cross have Home Openers on the Horizon
The Black Knights are scheduled to play their first games of the season at the Army Softball Complex when Boston University comes to West Point, N.Y. this weekend. That will leave Colgate and Holy Cross as the only two teams without having a home game during March. The Crusaders are scheduled to kickoff their home slate when they welcome Siena for a doubleheader on Thursday, March 3. The Raiders had planned to play their home opener on Thursday against Niagara, but that game has been postponed. Now it appears that Colgate will play its home opener on March 5, when Army travels to Hamilton, N.Y. for a weekend series.

Bausher, Campbell and Quigley Lead Solid Lehigh Pitching Staff
The Lehigh pitching staff has a 2.56 earned run average through 21 games this spring. Christine Campbell (2.01 ERA) and Ashley Quigley (2.57) each have four victories for the Mountain Hawks and Emily Bausher lowered her ERA to 3.18 on Saturday when she allowed one hit and struck out eight in a win over Colgate. Campbell has picked up a pair of Patriot League Pitcher of the Week honors so far this season.

Lehigh Edges Boston University at top of Preseason Rankings
Lehigh received eight of 11 first place votes to end up on top of the Patriot League preseason softball rankings with 66 points. Boston University, playing in its first season as a member of the league, received the remaining three first place votes and 63 points to be tabbed for second. Defending Patriot League softball tournament champ Army is third with 55 points followed by Colgate 40, Bucknell 36, Holy Cross 18 and Lafayette 16. A pair of Mountain Hawks claimed preseason individual recognition, as third baseman Morgan Decker, a sophomore, was named the Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year and Bausher claimed the Preseason Pitcher of the Year award. Decker, the reigning Patriot League Rookie and Player of the Year, is off to a solid start this season batting .404 with three home runs and 21 RBI. Decker has also been walked 14 times this season and boasts an on-base percentage of .535, which ranks in the top 40 nationally.

Patriot League Weekly Awards (Mar. 17-23)

Player of the Week

Decker led the offensive attack as Mountain Hawks exploded for 37 runs in a three-game sweep of Colgate. The sophomore had at least two hits and drove in runs in all three Lehigh victories. Decker finished the week 7-for-9 at the plate with a double and home run (.778 BA), four runs scored, 11 total bases and six RBI. The reigning Patriot League Player and Rookie of the Year slugged a three-run home run in the first inning of a 5-4 game-two win over the Raiders. Decker finished the series with a 1.222 slugging percentage and a .750 on-base percentage.

Pitcher of the Week

Cherness appeared in all three games as Bison took two of three in a series with Army. The sophomore allowed just two hits in 6.2 innings pitched against the Black Knights, earning a win and a save. Cherness struck out the side in one inning of relief in a 7-1 loss to Army and pitched 4.1 hitless innings while earning a victory in the series finale for Bucknell. Cherness finished the series with a 0.00 ERA and held opposing batters to .087 batting average.

Rookie of the Week

Younan batted an impressive .533 (8-for-15) and played a part in nine of BU's 29 runs during the Terriers 3-1 performance in the Yale Invitational. With BU leading 4-3 in the top of the fifth, Younan hit a key solo home run en route to an 8-4 win over Bryant. The freshman third baseman went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored during the 13-2 rout over Yale. In a 7-5 loss to Bryant in the final game, Younan hit a two-RBI single and scored a run to help the Terries tie the game at 5-5. Younan had a hit in each game of the invitational and slugged .800 for the week.

Honorable Mention

CAROLINE SMITH, ARMY Fr., P/U, Chino Hills, Calif.
Smith batted .476 for the week (10-for-21) with four RBI and two runs scored. Also appeared in seven games as a pitcher for the Black Knights, earning two wins -- including a combined three-hit shutout of Albany.

Hynes batted .429 and posted a 1.91 ERA in three appearances while pitching two complete-game performances in the Terriers 3-1 week in the Yale Invitational. In a 3-2 eight-inning victory over Yale, Hynes went 2-of-4 at the plate with a triple and pitched the entire game.

Sanders was 5-for-9 (.556 BA), including a triple and home run, as Bucknell took two-of-three from Army. The junior also scored three runs and drove in six as Bison posted identical 7-2 wins over the Black Knights in the final two games of the series. Sanders also stole a base and finished week the with a 1.111 slugging and .600 on-base percentage.

SARAH KANE, HOLY CROSS Sr., SS, Jacksonville, Fla.
Kane was 3-for-5 and drove in five runs as Holy Cross took the final two games of a three game set with Lafayette. The senior shortstop finished the week with a .429 batting average in seven plate appearances.

Durham recorded her first shutout of the season with seven innings of three-hit softball in Holy Cross' 7-0 win over Lafayette. Durham finished the week allowing only 10 hits and two runs in 13 innings pitched and also had a 7:1 SO:BB ratio.

Bausher struck out eight and allowed only one hit over five innings in the Mountain Hawks 26-1 win over Colgate on Saturday. The junior allowed a first inning home run, but then followed that with four hitless innings.