April 20, 2009
Center Valley, Pa.--Lehigh and Colgate clinched spots in the Patriot League Tournament with weekend splits. With one weekend to go, the other two spots remain up for grabs. All four of the remaining teams are still in the hunt for the final two spots.
Patriot League Softball Release - 4-20.09
Patriot League Player of the Week
Amanda Eccleston, Colgate Jr., DP, Roseville, Calif.
Eccleston batted .500 (10-of-20) in six games last week. She had a hit in all six contests, including four multi-hit games. She scored five runs and batted in five more. Eccleston hit her first collegiate home run in the Raiders' 11-3 win over Siena on Wednesday. It is the first time this season and the second time in her career that Eccleston has been named Patriot League Player of the Week.
Patriot League Pitcher of the Week (Apr. 13-19)
Lisa Sweeney, Lehigh Sr., P, Lumberton, N.J.
Sweeney allowed just one run and six hits in 15.2 innings of work last week. She struck out 17 batters while walking just four. She won both of her starts against Bucknell. She also tossed 3.2 innings of scoreless relief against the Bison. For the week, Sweeney compiled a 0.57 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .113 batting average. It is the second consecutive week and the third time this season that Sweeney has received the honor. She has been Patriot League Pitcher of the Week 15 times in her career.
Patriot League Rookie of the Week (Apr. 13-19)
Alexis AuBuchon, Army Fr., 1B, Trinity, Fla.
AuBuchon was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the first time this season after batting .333 with three runs and nine RBI. Of her eight hits, three were for extra-bases, including two home runs and a triple. She had multiple hits in three of Army's eight games. In the Black Knights' 7-5 win over Colgate on Sunday, AuBuchon homered, drove in three runs and scored twice.
Honorable Mention Performances Last Week
Erin McClain, Army
Jr., C, Ventura, Calif.
Batted .500 with four RBI in eight games. Recorded a hit in all eight games. Notched five extra-base hits.
Ashley Beans, Bucknell
Sr., OF, Hanover, Pa.
Batted .400 with two home runs. Scored twice and drove in two runs. Walked four times and two one base.
Jane Messersmith, Bucknell
Fr., P, Newport Beach, Calif.
Went 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA in 18 innings. Picked up two wins against League-leading Lehigh, limiting the Mountain Hawks to one run in 12 innings.
Patriot League Notebook
Week In Review
Lehigh and Colgate clinched berths in the Patriot League Tournament with weekend splits. The Mountain Hawks split with Bucknell, marking the first time that Lehigh did not win a weekend series this season. Colgate split with Army. The Black Knights are currently in third place on the strenght of their weekend split. Bucknell and Holy Cross are tied for fourth place. The Crusaders took three of four against Lafayette. Teh Leopards are one game back of Bucknell and Holy Cross for fourth.
Much has yet to be decided with just one weekend of Patriot League competition left on the regular season schedule. League-leading Lehigh will host Holy Cross. With two wins, the Mountain Hawks can clinch the top seed and homefield advantage in the Patriot League Tournament. The Crusaders enter the series tied with Bucknell for the fourth and final tournament spot. With three wins, Holy Cross would clinch a tournament berth. Second-place Colgate will welcome Lafayette to Hamilton. Colgate needs to win three more games than Lehigh during the final weekend in order to clinch the top seed and homefield advantage in the Patriot League Tournament. Lafayette begins the weekend one game behind Bucknell and Holy Cross for the final tournament position. In the weekend's other series, Bucknell will travel to Army. With three wins, Army would assure itself a tournament berth. Bucknell can clinch a tournament berth with four wins. The Bison can also reach the tournament with three wins and a Lafayette loss.
Lehigh and Colgate find themselves on the upper end of the Patriot League standings thanks in large part to recent winning streaks. Those lenghty winning streaks were snapped over the weekend, however. The Mountain Hawks had won 13 straight games, including 11 consecutive Patriot League contests, before dropping a 9-0 decision to Bucknell on Saturday. The Mountain Hawks split with the Bison, marking the first time that Lehigh did not win a weekend Patriot League series this season. Entering the weekend, Colgate's last loss was an 11-7 loss to Lehigh. The Raiders have won eight straight games before falling to Army. Colgate split with the Black Knights to remain in second place.
Two Patriot League pitchers have tossed no-hitters this season. The most recent no-hitter came from the arm of Lafayette junior Kasey Karr on March 27. Karr allowed just three base-runners in a five-inning no-hitter in the Leopards' 8-0 win against Army. It was the first no-hitter tossed by a Lafayette player since the Leopards joined the Patriot League. On March 3, Lehigh junior Tiffany Curtis threw the first Patriot League no-hitter since 2007. Curtis threw the first perfect game of her career in the Mountain Hawks' 1-0 win against St. Bonaventure.
2009 Patriot League Championship
The 2009 Patriot League Softball Championship will take place Thursday-Saturday, May 7-9 at the site of the highest seed. The top four teams in the regular-season standings will advance to the Patriot League tournament. The winner of the championship will represent the Patriot League in the NCAA Tournament as its automatic qualifier. Lehigh is the defending Patriot League Champion.
Army The Black Knights remained in third place in the Patriot League standings by taking two of four against second-place Colgate in West Point. It was the first home Patriot League series for Army this season. Of the Black Knights' 20 wins, 14 have come away from West Point. Four of their six home wins came last week. Freshman pitcher Shawna Bleyl picked up three of Army's four pitching wins last week. The Black Knights will next host Bucknell in a four-game weekend series starting Saturday.
Bucknell Bucknell became the first Patriot League team to split with League-leading Lehigh this season, taking two of four against the Mountain Hawks. Freshman pitcher Jane Messersmith recorded both pitching wins against Lehigh, holding the Mountain Hawks to one run in 12 innings of work. Ashley Beans finished the week batting .400 with two home runs. The Bison have now hit 24 home runs this season, the most in a single season for the program. Bucknell enters the week tied with Holy Cross for the fourth and final Patriot League Tournament position. The Bison will travel to Army for a four-game set starting Saturday.
Colgate The Raiders broke the school record for consecutive victories with a double-header sweep over Siena. Colgate's 10-game winning streak was snapped on Saturday, however. The Raiders split their four-game series with Army. It was the first time since late March that Colgate did not win a Patriot League series. The two wins were enough to clinch a spot in the Patriot League Tournament. Tiana Tyeskey batted .429 with four runs scored and five RBI during the weekend series. Colgate will host Lafayette during the final weekend of the regular season.
Holy Cross The Crusaders moved into a tie for fourth place in the Patriot League standings by taking three games in their weekend series at Lafayette. Sophomore outfielder Sam Lenhardt batted 5-for-7 against the Leopards. She also stole two bases during the weekend set. The Crusaders travel to League-leading Lehigh for the final regular season series of the year. With three wins, the Crusaders would clinch a spot in the Patriot League Tournament.
Lafayette The Leopards have now dropped eight of their last nine Patriot League contests after losing three of four at home against Holy Cross over the weekend. Sophomore Ali Henry was the lone Lafayette pitcher to pick up a win over the weekend. Henry tossed a seven-inning shutout against the Crusaders on Saturday. She struck out 12 batters and did not issue a walk in the victory. She moved up to No. 7 in the Lafayette record books for single-season strikeouts (86) and carer wins (17). Lafayette will spend the final weekend of the regular season at Colgate.
Lehigh The Mountain Hawks clinched a Patriot League Tournament berth with a weekend split against Bucknell. It marked the first time this season that Lehigh did not win a Patriot League series. Senior Lisa Sweeney picked up both pitching wins for the Mountain Hawks. She allowed just one run on six hits. She struck out 17 batters while walking four. Sweeney now has six shutout victories on the season. She has won 10 straight decisions. Lehigh will host Holy Cross for a four-game weekend series starting Saturday. With two wins, the Mountain Hawks would clinch the top seed and homefield advantage in the Patriot League Tournament.