Patriot League Softball Release - 4.19.12

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG Lafayette's Melissa Robinson
Lafayette's Melissa Robinson

April 19, 2012

Patriot League Softball Release - 4.19.12 Get Acrobat Reader

Center Valley, Pa. -- Lehigh became the first team to clinch a berth in the Patriot League Tournament over the weekend, but the Mountain Hawks still have plenty of work to do if they want to finish in first place and host the postseason event on May 10-12.

Lehigh stands in first place at 11-1 in the Patriot League after taking three of four at Holy Cross over the weekend. The Mountain Hawks are two games ahead of Colgate and Army, who are tied for second place at 9-3. The Raiders split with Lafayette over the weekend, while the Black Knights pulled into the tie for second by sweeping their series at Bucknell.

Colgate took three of four games from Army on April 7-8, but the rest of the action between the top three teams remains on the schedule. Lehigh will host Colgate this weekend, then close out its regular season at Army on April 28-29.

The Black Knights have a big weekend set themselves against another team that is in good position to make the Patriot League Tournament. Army hosts Lafayette for four games, with the Leopards at 5-7 and holding a three-game lead over Holy Cross for fourth place. The Crusaders play their four-game series at Bucknell. Both series will be played on Friday-Saturday due to pending rain in West Point and Lewisburg over the weekend.

Colgate and Army can each clinch berths in the Patriot League Tournament with any combination of two wins or Holy Cross losses. Lafayette can also lock up its tourney spot if it can gain further distance from Holy Cross and Bucknell.

Patriot League Notebook

Lehigh Clinches, Colgate and Army on the Verge
Lehigh locked up the first berth in the Patriot League Tournament on Sunday, and the Mountain Hawks could have company by Saturday evening. Colgate and Army each enter the weekend at 9-3, needing any combination of two wins or two Holy Cross losses to guarantee a spot in the postseason. Playing in the Patriot League Tournament is nothing new for any of the three schools. Lehigh has made the postseason in all 22 seasons, while Colgate has only missed once (2008) and Army has been left out of the Patriot League Tournament just three times (1998, 1999, 2009).

Army's Lashley Sets Single-Season Marks, with More to Come
Army freshman Morgan Lashley set the Patriot League single-season record for starts and appearances on Sunday against Bucknell, and added another on Tuesday vs. Iona to increase her marks to 36 starts and 41 appearances for the year. She has already set Army single-season marks for wins (23) and innings (226.0), and is closing in on Patriot League records in those categories as well. Lashley stands just five innings from the single-season mark of 231 set by Colgate's Tara McGoff in 1999, and her 23 wins are three away from the record authored by Lehigh's Lisa Sweeney in both 2006 and 2008.

Mountain Hawk Trio Moving up Patriot League Record Book
A veteran Lehigh team has three senior standouts that are in line to go down among the greats in the Patriot League record book. First baseman Julie Fernandez has set the Patriot League career doubles record (59), and also stands fourth in Patriot League history in batting average (.403) and hits (246) and ninth in RBIs (125). Shortstop Jen Colquhoun is enjoying a huge senior season and now ranks eighth in career home runs (22) and fourth in RBIs (138). Colquhoun's 13 home runs this season are just three off the Patriot League record, and she has tied a League mark with three Player of the Week awards this season. Last but not least, outfielder Audra Wood stands second in Patriot League history in runs (160) and fourth in stolen bases (65). She is just 11 runs and 12 steals from Patriot League career records.

Fernandez Named Finalist for Lowe's Senior CLASS Award
Lehigh softball senior Julie Fernandez has been named one of ten finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS award, it was announced Wednesday. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help determine the winner, which will be announced at the NCAA Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the award honors senior student-athletes, who excel in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. Fernandez is one of ten finalists, along with standouts from softball powers such as California, Arizona State, Stanford, Florida, Alabama and Washington. The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 20 candidates announced in February. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to determine the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote via the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award website through May 14.

Mountain Hawks Toss Second No-No of 2012
Lehigh's Rebecca Bliss and Kelsey Lee combined for a five-inning no-hitter in Sunday's 10-0 win over Holy Cross. It was the second no-no for the Mountain Hawks this season after Emily Bausher pulled it off against South Dakota on March 4. Bliss tossed her third no-hitter, pulling it off by herself in each of the past two seasons. Bausher has also had a number of near-misses with one-hitters, and did so again by combining with Ashley Quigley in a 7-0 win on Saturday.

Lafayette's Robinson Duels Colgate's O'Connell
Lafayette's Melissa Robinson has gotten used to shouldering the load on the mound for the Leopards. Colgate's Courtney O'Connell usually splits time for the Raiders, but with teammate Rachel LeCoq out it became a Robinson-O'Connell matchup in Easton over the weekend. Each pitcher posted a 2-2 record while starting all four games. Robinson allowed 14 earned runs in 26 innings on the hill, while O'Connell gave up 10 earned runs in 29.1 innings pitched. Robinson and the Leopards won a pitcher's duel Sunday, as she went the distance and Lafayette rallied to beat O'Connell and Colgate 3-2 in 10 innings.

Another Patriot Leaguer Takes ECAC Honors
Army sophomore April Ortenzo became the fourth different Patriot Leaguer honored by the ECAC this season when she was named Player of the Week on Tuesday. Her teammate, senior Alexis AuBuchon, was previously named ECAC Player of the Week while Lehigh's Jen Colquhoun (Player of the Week) and Rebecca Bliss (Pitcher of the Week) were also selected by the organization earlier in the year.

Patriot League Weekly Awards (April 9-15)

Player of the Week
APRIL ORTENZO, ARMY So., SS, Parkland, Fla.
Orentzo has hit safely in nine consecutive at-bats, tied for the 10th-longest streak in NCAA history, and batted .688 over the weekend as Army swept four games from Bucknell. Ortenzo went 11-for-16 with six runs scored, three doubles, three RBIs and two stolen bases as the Black Knights improved to 9-3 in the Patriot League and into a tie for second place in the standings. Ortenzo was 8-for-8 with five runs scored and two RBIs in Sunday's doublheader sweep, adding to a hit in her final at-bat on Saturday to build the streak of nine consecutive hits. Ortenzo wins the Patriot League Player of the Week award for the first time in her career.

Pitcher of the Week
Lashley earned the win in all four of Army's victories against Bucknell, posting a 1.67 ERA in 21 innings on the hill for the weekend. She did not give up more than two runs in any of her four outings. Lashley went the distacnce while allowing five hits and striking out four in a 5-1 win in the series opener on Saturday, and pitched four shutout innings with one hit allowed in an 11-0 triumph in Sunday's opener. Lashley broke multiple Army and Patriot League single-season records over the weekend. She became the school's all-time single-season leader in wins (22) and innings (219.0) while setting Army and Patriot League records for starts (35) and appearances (40) in a single season. Lashley earns the Patriot League Pitcher of the Week award for the second time in 2012.

Rookie of the Week
CASSIE WAGGY, LEHIGH Fr., IF/OF, Manteca, Calif.
Waggy went 8-for-17 with two doubles and six RBIs in a 4-2 week for Lehigh that included wins in three of four games against Holy Cross in a Patriot League weekend series. Waggy hit safely in five consecutive games to close the week, beginning with a 3-for-4 effort with three RBIs as Lehigh beat Hofstra 7-6 to split a doubleheader Wednesday and snap the Pride's 17-game winning streak. Waggy was 5-of-11 with two doubles, a run scored and three RBIs as Lehigh won three of four games against Holy Cross over the weekend. She is named Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the second time.

Honorable Mentions
EMMIE DOLFI, COLGATE Jr., 1B, Pleasant Valley, N.Y.
Dolfi batted .500 with two home runs, eight RBIs and three runs scored in Colgate's weekend split with Lafayette.

LAUREN MURPHY, LAFAYETTE So., OF, Boxborough, Mass./Acton-Boxborough Regional
Murphy hit .400 with two home runs and six RBIs in six games for the Leopards. She hit the game-tying two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning in Sunday's opener as the Leopards went on to win 3-2 in 10 innings.

Colquhoun batted .526 with a home run, five RBIs and six runs scored in a 4-2 week for the Mountain Hawks.