May 2, 2004
2004 Patriot League Softball Tournament Boxscores
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BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- The Lehigh softball team collected its sixth Patriot League Tournament title, and first since 2001, with a 3-1 victory over Army in 11 innings in the Patriot League Championship Sunday. With the win, the Mountain Hawks earn the League's automatic bid into the 64-team NCAA Tournament field. The bracket will be announced Sunday, May 16 between 8-9 p.m., on ESPNews.
Lehigh sophomore catcher Mary Wieder collected the Tournament MVP award after going 6-for-10 on the weekend with a pair of key sacrifice bunts Sunday. She also scored two times.
The two starting pitchers, Kate Arico for Lehigh and Ashlie Christian for Army, were rolling along with little or no trouble until the bottom of the fifth inning.
Arico loaded the bases with no outs thanks to singles by Nikki Posey and Lindsey Romack, while Abby Gottschall reached on an error. Head coach Fran Troyan pulled Arico in favor of Emily Ling, the 2003 PL Pitcher of the Year. Ling promptly struck out the next three batters, including two looking, to end the Black Knights' threat. Christian's struggles came in the top of the sixth when she put two runners on with one out. Leigh Harrell came out of the bullpen to induce Elizabeth Gripp into a line-drive double play thanks to a great play by Army shortstop Lauren Gobar.
Neither team would threaten again until the eighth inning when Lehigh got on the board when Jessica Young singled to lead off the frame followed by a sacrifice bunt by Wieder. Young came around to score on a single by Erin Hengemuhle.
However, the Black Knights were not ready to give up yet with a run of their own in the bottom of the eighth. Darcy Wilson singled to start the rally and came around to score on a double by Jamie Gjurgevich. Army had the game-winning run thrown out at the plate as Wieder blocked the dish to keep Gjurgevich from scoring on Posey's single.
Lehigh had a chance in the top of the 10th, but their rally stalled after back-to-back fielder's choice plays, including a force-out at home. However, the Mountain Hawks would not stay down in the 11th. After an inning-opening walk to Mendy Martin, back-to-back Army errors allowed the freshman to score the go-ahead run. LU tacked on an insurance run when Shana Treon scored on Young's single to center.
The Mountain Hawks improve to 40-15-2 on the season, while Army's season comes to an end with a 27-22 mark.