BETHLEHEM, Pa. — Lehigh improved to 6-0 in Patriot League play with a Holy Cross double sweep Saturday at Leadership Park. The Mountain Hawks fell behind early in both games but fought back, winning the opener 4-1 and the nightcap 5-3.
senior pitcher Gabrielle Nori had a good day, picking up a win and a stoppage in the circle, allowing just one run over 9.2 innings of work with nine strikeouts. Junior Emilie Cimino went 4 for 8 with an RBI and two runs scored to lead Lehigh’s offense. The Mountain Hawks are now 15-12 overall and have won 10 of their last 11 games.
In Game 1, Holy Cross (11-22, 3-5 PL) opened the scoring with three straight second-inning singles as Claire McCann picked home runner Jena Whipple.
Lehigh tied the game on an unearned run late in the second as a freshman Rory Dudley marked when senior Addie Kittel reached on a throwing error.
Holy Cross’ Kelly Nelson held Lehigh without a hit for 3.1 innings before the senior Karsen O’Rourke single by the left side in the fourth inning. Two batters later, Kittel hit a massive two-run homer down the left field line, which gave the Mountain Hawks a 3-1 lead.
Lehigh added one more point in the fifth as a senior Carley Barjaktarovitch walked, stole second, then came back to score on a Cimino single.
Nori struck out the last eight batters she faced, working a two-man no-out jam in the fifth getting a 5-3 double play and then a pitch at shortstop. She allowed one run on five hits with six strikeouts and no walks to improve to 7-6 on the season.
Nelson limited Lehigh to five hits and struck out 10 on the losing side for Holy Cross.
— Lehigh Softball (@Lehighsoftball) April 10, 2022
The Crusaders started fast in Game 2, scoring three runs early in the first, all of which came with two outs. Erin Bengston scored two runs at home, then Callie Thibault walked an loaded walk to put Holy Cross up 3-0 before Lehigh came up to bat.
In the bottom of the first, Lehigh loaded the bases as the first three batters in the lineup reached in singles. Holy Cross picked up the first out on a forced play at home. Second year Brooke Canon then reached a fielder’s pick and earned an RBI when Holy Cross failed to get an out at third base on a ground fly to shortstop. O’Rourke launched into a power game to bring Lehigh innings two, then the second Amanda Greney put Lehigh ahead for good with a double off the fence in center field right away, which put the Mountain Hawks ahead 4-3 after one inning.
The only other run in Game 2 came in the fourth inning, when Cimino singled one out and then scored when Dudley hit a pitching error.
Second year Katelyn Young navigated a no-out, base-loaded jam in the fourth inning, getting a forced play at home, then a 4-3-2 double play on a hard liner to O’Rourke at second base to keep the Crusaders out of the game. picture .
The Crusaders charged the bases again with an out in the fifth and Nori came in relief to take out Peyton Morehouse, then had Jessica Mott fly out to the right to end the threat.
Holy Cross again threatened in the seventh, charging the bases with one out behind two singles and Nori’s only walk of the day, but Nori fought back, forcing Morgan Jensen to foul Dudley first before pulling Mott out. seeking to secure duplicate scanning. .
Young allowed three runs on 11 hits in 4.1 innings with three walks and one strikeout. Nori allowed only the three seventh-inning base runners in 2.2 innings of relief with three more strikeouts.
Lehigh finished with 10 hits from Megan Yurchick and Nelson with Cimino and senior Jaelynn Chesson the two go 3-4 in game two.
The Mountain Hawks and Crusaders will wrap up their three-game series with just one game Sunday at noon.