May 8, 2003
Lehigh University Softball Game Notes (Patriot League Tournament)
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The 2003 Patriot League Softball Tournament is right around the corner and the league's regular season champions, the Lehigh Mountain Hawks, are gearing up for another league title. With the Patriot League's Pitcher of the Year and nine All-League selections, the Mountain Hawks ran away with the regular season championship, going 19-1 in the league, and setting various school and league marks along the way. Colgate, Holy Cross, and Army will join Lehigh in the tournament field, with the defending champion Army Black Knights serving as Lehigh's first round opponent.
This year's squad, statistically, is one of the most dominating of all time in the Patriot League. Lehigh has already set league marks for most consecutive wins (12) and most league wins (19), with other marks such as overall victories and team fielding percentage in jeopardy of falling. Individual marks have also been attained, as Stephanie Digneo set the Patriot League and Lehigh mark for most career hits, Jenny Bender positioned herself second all-time in career RBI and second in career saves, while Patriot League Pitcher of the Year Emily Ling moved into the top six in single season strikeouts and third in career saves.
The Mountain Hawks field a complete squad, ranking within the top two in hitting, pitching, and fielding. Lehigh boasts a league best .317 batting average, ranks second in team pitching with a 2.09 team ERA, and first in fielding with a .968 fielding percentage.
Digneo is the top hitter on the squad, posting a team high .392 batting average. Digneo has managed 60 hits, six doubles, six triples, and one home run. Jessica Young is second on the team in hitting (.385), tops in home runs (3) and tops in doubles (14).
Emily Ling has been Lehigh's ace pitcher this season. Ling is tops in wins, appearances, complete games, strikeouts, innings pitched, saves, and opponents batting average against. Ling is 17-3 and has pitched a no-hitter and along the way.
Defensively, Lehigh is head and shoulders above its closest competitor. The Mountain Hawks sport a .968 fielding percentage (45 errors in 1,344 chances) and are led by Young and Elizabeth Gripp. Gripp sports a 1.000 fielding percentage, having committed no errors in 313 chances, while Young has committed only five miscues, three of which came during the season's opening week.
The tournament schedule has been set for Championship Weekend. Colgate and Holy Cross, the two and three seed respectively, will square off at 9:00 a.m. Lehigh, the tournament's top seed, will battle fourth seeded Army at 11:00 a.m. Colgate is the only team in the tournament to have beaten Lehigh this season. The Raiders did the deed on April 10th in the first game of a tripleheader in Hamilton, New York.
"The 2003 Patriot League Tournament should be very exciting for the fans," noted head coach Fran Troyan. "Colgate has outstanding hitting and pitching and is playing extremely well at this time. Army, as defending champions, is always a dangerous squad, while Holy Cross is also very solid from top to bottom. It truly is any team's tournament."
For complete tournament coverage, log on to the Lehigh website, or the Patriot League website. All remaining Lehigh contests will be broadcast live online as well, with streaming provided by FASTNET.
For more information, contact Mike Garland, Media Relations Assistant.
Posted May 8, 2003.