April 5, 2010
Center Valley, Pa.--Army finds itself atop the Patriot League standings after the first weekend of Patriot League play. The Black Knights notched a four-game sweep over Lafayette, Army's first 4-0 start since 2002. As a result, the Black Knights took two of the Patriot League's three weekly awards.
Patriot League Softball Release 4.5.10
Patriot League Player of the Week
Erin McClain, Army Sr., C, Ventura, Calif.
McClain had a hit in every outing in Army’s four-game Patriot League sweep over Lafayette. For the week, she batted .368 with a home run and five RBI, including four against Lafayette. McClain hit her first home run of the season in the Black Knights’ first game against the Leopards, helping turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead. She also closed the week with four walks, giving her the school’s all-time career record with 65. It is the first time in her career that McClain has been named Patriot League Player of the Week.
Patriot League Pitcher of the Week
Tiffany Curtis, Lehigh Sr., P, Newbury Park, Calif.
Curtis went 3-0 last week, including a 2-0 mark in Patriot League action. She tossed three complete games, including a 1-0 one-hit shutout victory over Colgate on Saturday. In 21 innings, Curtis allowed just 10 hits and six walks while striking out 20 batters. For the week, Curtis compiled a 2.00 earned-run-average while limiting her foes to a .145 batting average. This is the first time this season and the fifth time in her career that Curtis has been named Patriot League Pitcher of the Week.
Patriot League Rookie of the Week
Tiffany Held, Army Fr., OF, Anderson, Ind.
Held was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the second time this season after batting .591 with nine RBI and five runs scored in six games last week. She finished the week with a .773 slugging percentage and a .640 on-base percentage. Held went 11-for-15 with eight RBI and four runs in Army’s four-game Patriot League sweep over Lafayette. She lifted the Black Knights to a 5-4 victory in the series opener, knocking a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Honorable Mention Performances Last Week
Shawna Bleyl, Army
So., P, Tucson, Ariz.
Notched two wins and two saves in four appearances last week. Recorded six strikeouts while allowing just four earned runs in 12.2 innings of work.
Bridget Gates, Bucknell
Fr., P, Milford, Conn.
Went 1-1 with a 1.02 ERA in 13.2 innings pitched. Struck out six batters while walking just three. Tossed a complete-game shutout against Holy Cross.
Keeley Seniuk, Holy Cross
Jr., OF, Phoenix, Ariz.
Batted .500 in six games. Recorded a .750 slugging percentage and a .529 on-base percentage. Stole two bases and scored three times.
Julie Fernandez, Lehigh
So., 1B, Moorpark, Calif.
Went 11-for-20 at the plate with a .750 slugging percentage. Drove in one run and scored five times.
Patriot League Notebook
Black Knights Get Started In Style
Army opened Patriot League play with a bang, recording a four-game sweep over 2009 Patriot League Championship participant Lafayette. It was the first time the Black Knights recorded a four-game sweep since doing so against Bucknell in 2005. Army’s 4-0 Patriot League start is its first since 2002.
Clash Of The Titans
Entering Patriot League play, Lehigh and Colgate had the top two overall records among League squads. Lehigh got the best of the Raiders, as the Mountain Hawks won the first three contests of the four-game set. All four games were decided by one run.
On The Right Foot
In the 10 seasons that Lehigh has won the Patriot League Championship, the Mounatin Hawks failed to win their Patriot League opener just once. Lehigh dropped its first two Patriot League games against Army in 2004 before eventually winning its sixth League crown. The Mountain Hawks began the Patriot League season with a victory for the third straight year, topping Colgate by a 1-0 margin.
On Saturday, home teams were not so kind. Host squads won all six Patriot League games during the first round of games. Sunday was a different story, as half of the day’s six games were won by road teams.
Setting the Table
Colgate has scored 153 runs this season, more than any other Patriot League team. A key to the Raiders’ offensive success has been the production of their leadoff batters. Colgate’s lineup has hit .503 to start each inning.
Clearing The Bases
Bucknell has had great success with the bases loaded this season. The Bison lead the Patriot League with a .526 batting average when the bases are packed. Bucknell hitters have gone to the plate with the bases loaded 19 times, getting a hit in 10 of those occasions.
2010 Patriot League Softball Tournament
The 2010 Patriot League Softball Championship will be held at the school with the top seed, as determined by regular-season standings, with the top four teams qualifying for the double-elimination tournament. Two games will be played on Thursday, May 13 and three on Friday, May 14. The champion will be determined on Saturday, May 15. The Patriot League champion will earn the Patriot League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Army The Black Knights opened Patriot League play with four straight wins. Army outscored Lafayette 27-14 in the Black Knights’ four-game sweep. It is the second time since 2002 that Army has swept the Leopards in a four-game set. It was Army’s first four-game sweep since 2005. It was the first time since 2002 that the Black Knights opened Patriot League play with four straight wins. Shawna Bleyl picked up two wins and two saves during the week. All four of Army’s pitchers currently have winning records. The Black Knights’ 16 wins are just five short of last year’s win total. Army will play a non-League doubleheader against Iona on Wednesday before resuming League play at home against defending champion Lehigh.
Bucknell The Bison opened Patriot League play with a doubleheader sweep against Holy Cross on Saturday, outscoring the Crusaders by a 16-1 count. Bucknell was then swept by the Crusaders on Sunday, falling by one run in each contest. Earlier in the week, the Bison split a non-League doubleheader against Drexel. Alison Ford hit a home run against the Dragons, moving her into ninth place on the school’s all-time list for career home runs. The Bison will play a non-League doubleheader at Mount St. Mary’s on Tuesday before returning to Patriot League play with a four-game series at Lafayette.
Colgate The Raiders entered Patriot League play with the top overall record among League squads, but Colgate was dealt three straight defeats to begin the League portion of its schedule. The Raiders went 3-1 at defending Patriot League champion Lehigh. All four games were decided by a single run. Colgate comes into the week leading the Patriot League in earned run average (2.77) and opposing batting average (.241). The Raiders will host Marist in a non-League doubleheader on Thursday. Colgate will then host Holy Cross for a four-game Patriot League series starting Saturday.
Holy Cross The Crusaders went 2-2 on the opening weekend of Patriot League play. After dropping its first two games to Bucknell by a combined score of 16-1, Holy Cross rebounded to take both of Sunday’s contests, snapping an 11-game losing streak. Junior outfielder Keeley Seniuk went 6-for-9 during the series against the Bison, including a 5-for-7 effort on the final day. Caitlin Belanger pitched in both of Sunday’s contests, picking up the win in each outing. She pitched an eight-inning complete game in Sunday’s first game, a 2-1 victory for the Crusaders. Holy Cross will host Harvard in a non-League bout on Tuesday. The Crusaders will then travel to Colgate to resume Patriot League play on Saturday.
Lafayette The Leopards began Patriot League play by dropping four straight games at Army. Earlier in the week, Lafayette split a pair of non-League games against Iona. Senior pitcher Kasey Karr pitched in five of the Leopards’ six games last week, racking up 26 innings of work. She struck out 25 total batters while allowing 17 earned runs. Karr is Lafayette’s all-time leader in pitching wins. In 2010, she has a 4.25 ERA in 17 appearances. The Leopards will play non-League doubleheaders against Stony Brook and Drexel. Lafayette will then pursue its first Patriot League win of the season when it hosts Bucknell for a four-game series.
Lehigh The Mountain Hawks began Patriot League play with a win for the third straight season. Lehigh went 3-1 against Colgate, taking the first three games of the series. All four games were decided by one run, including a 1-0 contest in which senior Tiffany Curtis tossed the eighth one-hitter of her career. Sophomore Julie Fernandez went 11-for-20 at the plate last week, giving her a .453 batting average for the season. Fernandez is currently riding a 17-game hitting streak. The Mountain Hawks will play at Rider on Tuesday before traveling to Army for a four-game series.