April 27, 2009
Center Valley, Pa.--The final weekend of the regular season determined the field for the 2009 Patriot League Tournament. Lehigh will host the event for the eighth straight season as the top seed. Colgate, Bucknell and Lafayette will join the Mountain Hawks in Bethlehem starting May 7.
Patriot League Softball Release 4.27.09
Patriot League Player of the Week (Apr. 20-26)
Christina Giambrone, Lafayette Jr., SS, Blairstown, N.J.
Giambrone batted .705 with three home runs, four runs batted in and nine runs scored in six games last week. She went 6-for-7 with four runs and four RBI in two games on Sunday, helping the Leopards earn the final Patriot League Tournament berth. She tied the Patriot League record for home runs in a game with three in the Leopards' 7-6 win at Colgate in the regular season finale. It is the second time this season that Giambrone has been named Patriot League Player of the Week.
Patriot League Pitcher of the Week (Apr. 20-26)
Lisa Sweeney, Lehigh Sr., P, Lumberton, N.J.
Sweeney pitched 16 scoreless innings while helping the Mountain Hawks to three wins. She went 2-0 with 26 strikeouts in three games. Sweeney allowed just eight hits and one walk. She now has seven shutouts this season. She has won 12 straight decisions. Her 14 strikeouts against Holy Cross on Saturday were a season-high. She is now just four strikeouts shy of 900 for her career. It is the third consecutive week and the fourth time this season that Sweeney has received the honor. She has been Patriot League Pitcher of the Week 16 times in her career.
Patriot League Rookie of the Week (Apr. 20-26)
Jane Messersmith, Bucknell Fr., P/DP, Newport Beach, Calif.
Messersmith appeared in all four of Bucknell's games against Army, helping the Bison win three. She picked up a complete-game victory over the Black Knights on Saturday, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out five batters. For the week, she went 1-1 with a 3.82 ERA. At the plate, Messersmith batted .571 with a .714 slugging percentage, two doubles, three runs, and three RBI. It is the second time she has received the honor.
Honorable Mention Performances Last Week
Jessie Snyder, Bucknell
So., SS, Tacoma, Wash.
Batted .636 with one home run. Scored three times and drove in two runs, helping Bucknell go 3-1 against Army.
Katie McDonald, Bucknell
Sr., P, York, Pa.
Went 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA in two games against Army. Allowed just one earned run in 14 innings. Scattered six hits and walked two batters while striking out five.
Alex Cueva, Lehigh
So., 3B, Santa Clarita, Calif.
Batted .500 with a .500 slugging percentage and a .526 on-base percentage in six Lehigh victories. Scored once and drove in five runs. Hit safely in all six games. Also recorded the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth in Lehigh's 4-3 win over Monmouth.
Patriot League Notebook
Week In Review
The 2009 Patriot League Softball Tournament Field became fully set on Sunday, the final day of the regular season. Bucknell, which needed just one win on Sunday to clinch a tournament berth, did so in its first game against Army on the final day of the regular season. Lafayette, which took three of four games in its season-ending series at Colgate, claimed the final spot in the tournament. The Leopards entered the weekend in last place, two games back of Army. Army finished the weekend 1-3 against Bucknell, allowing Lafayette to move into the final position. Lehigh and Colgate, which clinched tournament berths last weekend, round out the field. Lehigh closed the regular season with a four-game sweep over Holy Cross.
Before the Patriot League Tournament gets underway, Lafayette will close out the regular season with a pair of non-League match-ups. The Leopards will host St. Peter's on Wednesday before welcoming Fairleigh Dickinson to Easton on Thursday.
2009 Patriot League Championship
The 2009 Patriot League Softball Championship will take place Thursday-Saturday, May 7-9 at Kaufman Field in Bethlehem, Pa. Top-seeded Lehigh will host the Patriot League Tournament for the eighth straight year after compiling a 17-3 Patriot League record. Colgate will serve as the No. 2 seed with a 12-8 League mark. Bucknell will compete as the No. 3 seed with a 9-11 record in League contests, while Lafayette enters the tournament as the No. 4 seed with an 8-12 Patriot League mark. The top four teams in the regular-season standings 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.
Tourney Teams Take Time Off
Three of the four teams qualifying for the Patriot League Championship will get a chance to catch their breath prior to the tournament. The event begins 11 days after the final day of the Patriot League regular season. Lafayette is the only team currently scheduled to play a game during the break in action.
Not only did Lafayette shortstop Christina Giambrone tie the Patriot League record for home runs in a game, the junior did so in dramatic fashion. Giambrone hit home runs in three straight at-bats, helping the Leopards overcome a 6-2 deficit against Colgate in the second game of a double-header on Sunday. It was a necessary win for the Leopards. The 7-6, eight-inning victory propelled Lafayette into the Patriot League Tournament.
Fitting Farewell For Flowers
Though his team did not qualify for the Patriot League Championship, longtime Army head coach Jim Flowers was sent out with a victory in his final game with the Black Knights. Flowers is retiring after 19 seasons at the helm. Under Flowers' tutelage, Army has had 78 All-Patriot League selections and boasted the League's player of the year six times. In addition, the Black Knights have garnered two Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards and two Pitcher of the Year honors. Current assistant coach Michelle DePolo will assume head coaching responsibilities on July 1. She will become the program's first female head coach since moving to Division I in 1991.
Army The Black Knights entered the week in third place in the Patriot League standings, but a 1-3 weekend against Bucknell eliminated Army from postseason consideration. The Black Knights finished tied with Lafayette for the final Patriot League Tourament berth, Since the teams went 2-2 against each other and had identical records against top-seeded Lehigh, their records against Colgate were used to break the tie. Lafayette owned a better mark against the Raiders, giving the Leopards the final tournament berth. Long-time head coach Jim Flowers will retire after this season. His current assistant, Michelle DePolo, will assume head coaching responsibilities on July 1.
Bucknell Bucknell clinched the No. 3 seed in the Patriot League Tournament with three wins against Army. The Bison won the first three games of the four-game set before falling in the finale. Jessie Snyder hit her sixth home run of the season in Saturday's second game. She now has the fourth-highest single-season home run total in Bucknell history. Senior pitcher Katie McDonald recorded her third shutout of the season in the Bison's 1-0 win over the Black Knights. She now has the 10th-most single-season shutouts in program history. Bucknell will open the Patriot League Tournament against Colgate on May 7.
Colgate The Raiders locked up the No. 2 seed in the Patriot League Tournament. Colgate finished the regular season by dropping three of four to Lafayette. The Raiders closed the regular season with a better record on the road than at home. Colgate won six home games and six road games in Patriot League play, but the Raiders played four fewer road games in League action. Colgate won 16-of-25 games away from Hamilton all season, compared to an 8-6 record at the Eaton Street Complex. The Raiders will open Patriot League Tournament play on May 7 against Bucknell.
Holy Cross The Crusaders closed the regular season with five straight losses. Holy Cross was swept by Lehigh on the final weekend of Patriot League play. That followed a 3-0 loss at Harvard on Thursday. During the weekend series at Lehigh, sophomore outfielder Keeley Seniuk was 4-for-11 (.364) with a double and a run scored. Holy Cross will complete the 2009 regular season at Freshman Field on Tuesday, April 28, hosting Central Connecticut in a doubleheader at 3:00 p.m.
Lafayette The Leopards entered the weekend in last place, but passed Holy Cross and Army for the final spot in the Patriot League Tournament. Lafayette took three of four against Colgate, including the final two games on Sunday, to secure its spot in the tournament. Needing to win the final game of the series, Lafayette trailed Colgate, 6-2. Christina Giambrone hit the third of her three consecutive home runs to help Lafayette tie the game. The Leopards won, 7-6, to claim the No. 4 seed. Lafayette will open up tournament play against rival Lehigh on May 7.
Lehigh The Mountain Hawks clinched home field advantage in the Patriot League Tournament for the eighth straight season with a four-game sweep over Holy Cross. Lehigh closed the regular season with six straight wins, including two non-League victories over Monmouth. Freshman Audra Wood hit safely in five of the Mountain Hawks' six wins last week. She scored three runs and drove in two in Lehigh's series opener against Holy Cross on Saturday. She also stole three bases during the series. Her 25 stolen bases are the second-highest season total in school history. Top-seeded Lehigh will begin Patriot League Tournament play on May 7 against No. 4 against rival Lafayette.