Patriot League Softball Championship Preview

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May 7, 2014

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CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Host and top-seeded Lehigh is going for its 7th Patriot League Softball Championship in 10 years against a field that includes defending champion Army, 32-win Boston University and Bucknell.

Patriot League Notebook

THE TOP FIVE @PATRIOTLEAGUE NOTES
*Host and top-seed Lehigh is going for its 7th Patriot League Championship in 10 years.
*Participating in the Patriot League tournament for the first time, #2 BU won 13 America East titles from 1993-2012.
*Third seed Bucknell has won two Patriot League Championships, most recently in 2010.
*Amanda Nguyen became Army's seventh four-time first team All-Patriot League player on Wednesday.
*Fourth-seeded Army defeated host Lehigh 5-0 in the final game to win the 2013 Patriot League Championship.

Top-Seeded Lehigh Dominates Patriot League Major Awards
Patriot League Softball Tournament host Lehigh won four of the five major awards announced on Wednesday by the League office. In a ballot of the seven Patriot League softball coaches, Mountain Hawks sophomore third baseman was named the Patriot League Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Lehigh head coach Fran Troyan was named Coach of the Year for the third straight time and junior Emily Bausher was named the League's top pitcher. Sophomore Alexis Watanabe was named the inaugural recipient of the Defensive Player of the Year Award. The Rookie of the Year Award went to Boston University freshman third baseman Britanny Younan.

First Team All Patriot League
1B - Cassie Waggy, Lehigh, Jr.; 2B - Alexis Watanabe, Lehigh, So.; SS - Cydnee Sanders, Bucknell, Jr.; 3B - Morgan Decker, Lehigh, So.; C - Mariel Schlaefer, Colgate, So.; DP - Lauren Hynes, Boston University, So.; OF - Amanda Nguyen, Army, Sr.; OF - Jayme Mask, Boston University, Sr.; OF - Vicky Lattanzio, Lehigh, Fr.; P - Melanie Russell, Boston University, So.; P - Emily Bausher, Lehigh, Jr.; At-large - Jessica Calvini, Lehigh, So.

Second Team All Patriot League
1B - Chelsea Kehr, Boston University, Sr.; 2B - Jacee Almond, Bucknell, Fr.; SS - Emma Capetz, Lehigh, Jr.; 3B - Kasey McCravey, Army, So.; C - Cheyanna Young, Bucknell, So.; DP - Colleen Ahern, Holy Cross, So.; OF - Moriah Connolly, Boston University, Fr.; OF - Kristen Zahn, Bucknell, Jr.; OF - Katie Bushee, Colgate, Fr.; P - Caroline Smith, Army, Fr.; P - Lara Bean, Bucknell, Fr.; At-large - Brittany Younan, Boston University, Fr.

Academic All-Patriot League
Bucknell junior shortstop Cydnee Sanders was named the 2014 Patriot League Softball Scholar-Athlete on Tuesday. The Magnolia, Texas native led a 12-member Academic All-League team of student-athletes with at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average and be a starter or key player in his/her sport, as selected in a vote of the League's softball sports information directors. The rest of the team includes: Alyssa Strobehn, Army, So.; Chelsea Kehr, Boston University, Sr.; Jayme Mask, Boston University, Sr.; Amanda Fazio, Bucknell, So.; Kristen Zahn, Bucknell, Jr.; Alex Gustafson, Holy Cross, Sr.; Allison Brown, Lafayette, So.; Bryn Gornick, Lafayette, So.; Emily Bausher, Lehigh, Jr.; Morgan Decker, Lehigh, So.; Alexis Watanabe, Lehigh, So.

Lehigh's Morgan Decker & BU's Jayme Mask Named to Capital One Academic Teams
In addition to being named to the Patriot League All-Academic Team, Lehigh's Morgan Decker and Boston University's Jayme Mask were also named to the Capital One Academic Softball Team. A behavioral neuroscience major, Decker has a 3.64 grade point average while Mask maintains a 3.41 GPA in Biology & Psychology.

2014 Patriot League Softball Tournament

Lehigh University's Kaufman Field, Bethlehem, Pa. - May 8-10, 2014

No. 4 Army Black Knights (22-26, 9-9 PL) at No. 1 Lehigh Mountain Hawks (30-18, 15-3 PL), 12:05 p.m.
2014: Lehigh won series, 3-0 (5/3-5/4 West Point, N.Y.) Tournament History: Lehigh leads 21-11

In the final weekend of the Patriot League regular season, Lehigh swept three games from Army in West Point, N.Y. Patriot League Player of the Year Morgan Decker led the Mountain Hawks going 6-for-9 with a .750 on base percentage in the series. Emily Bausher had five hits and four RBI en route to being named Patriot League Player of the Week, while freshman Vicky Lattanzio had seven RBI over the three games and was named Rookie of the Week. Army senior centerfielder Amanda Nguyen, a four-time first team All-Patriot League selection, was 6-for-10 in the three games. Freshman pitcher Caroline Smith, an All-League player for the Black Knights, did not pitch in the final series.

Lehigh The Mountain Hawks are led by two-time Patriot League Player of the Year Morgan Decker who has slugged nine home runs and knocked in 38 runs this spring. Her .409 batting average, 30 walks and 11 hit by pitch yield a .547 on base percentage which ranks 11th nationally among NCAA Division I players. In the circle, Emily Bausher has a 13-6 record and was named the Patriot League Pitcher of the Year on Wednesday. The junior boasts a 2.22 ERA striking out 99 batters and limiting opponents to a .201 batting average. Sophomore second baseman Alexis Watanabe gets it done with both the bat and the glove with a .371 batting average and 35 runs scored while being named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year.

Army The Black Knights will attempt to defend their Patriot League title from the No. 4 seed this season. After losing to the Mountain Hawks on the second day of the 2013 tournament, Army shut out Lehigh twice on Saturday to win the NCAA berth. The Black Knights are led by senior outfielder Amanda Nguyen who batted .341 in 47 games this season and stole 26 bases and third baseman Kasey McCravey who slugged seven home runs and had 43 RBI. The Black Knights ace is All-League pitcher Caroline Smith, who won 12 games and has a 2.97 ERA in 132 innings pitched.

No. 3 Bucknell Bison (21-24, 10-8 PL) vs. No. 2 Boston University Terriers (32-19, 13-5 PL), 2:35 p.m.
2014: Boston U. won series, 2-1 (5/3-5/4 Boston, Mass.) Tournament History: None

In the final weekend of the Patriot League regular season, Boston University stretched its winning streak to 13 games before Bucknell won the series finale on Sunday. First team All-Patriot League pitcher Melanie Russell got the Terriers off on the right foot on Saturday by hurling a perfect game in a 1-0 over the Bison and Boston U. also won the nightcap 6-0 behind three RBI from Patriot League Rookie of the Year Brittany Younan. Bucknell bounced back on Sunday with a 9-1 victory fueled by four RBI from first baseman Jacklyn Tyburk and 5-2/3 solid innings from All-Patriot League pitcher Lara Bean.

Boston University The Terriers arrived on the Patriot League softball scene this spring after dominating America East for the past 20 years. Led by seniors Jayme Mask and Britanny Clendenny, Boston University boasts one of the top offenses in the Patriot League. Mask batted .399 in 51 games this spring, scoring 41 runs and stealing a league-best 33 bases. Clendenny supplies the power with four home runs and 48 RBI. In the circle, Melanie Russell was named to the All-Patriot League first team after posting a 9-3 record with a 2.02 ERA while striking out 90 in only 83 innings. Opponents managed only a .207 batting average against the sophomore hurler.

Bucknell The Bison are attempting to win their first Patriot League championship since 2010 when they emerged as the three seed to capture the title. Bucknell is led by two-time All-Patriot League shortstop Cydnee Sanders who enters the postseason with the sixth highest batting average among NCAA Division I players at .464. Junior Kristen Zahn (.371) and freshman Jacee Almond (.351) also provide some offensive spark. Lara Bean, a second team All-Patriot League performer has been the Bison most effective pitcher with eight wins and a 2.76 ERA.