Lehigh 11 (8)
Lehigh 11 (8)
Freshman Rae Ball (pictured) drove home a pair of runs and picked up the win in relief as the Fairfield Stags survived a furious Lehigh comeback and won in extra innings Sunday at the Pirate Clash in Greenville, NC.
The Stags were up 9-1 in the bottom of the 5th inning and Sarah Minice was one out away from registering a run rule victory when the wheels came off. Sarah had been on cruise control up to that point having allowed only 4 hits while striking out 8, but she apparently ran out of gas. She surrendered a 2 out single that erased the run rule possibility, and would end up allowing 5 more runs until she was relieved by Emily Orr in the 6th inning. Emily struggled, allowing a pair of runs without retiring a batter and the game was tied. Rae Ball came in and held the fort until extra innings.
Fairfield had exploded out of the gate, scoring runs in each of the first 4 innings to go in front 9-1. Ali Wigand was 3 for 5 with a double and 2 RBIS; Kristina Lingo was 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs; Lauren Liseth continued her hot start with a triple, 3 runs, and RBI; Mikayla Shumate was 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs.
The 8th inning was a wild one, with the international tiebreaker rule in effect and the game tied 9-9. Fairfield was up first, and quickly loaded the bases, thanks to a Lehigh error and a walk. Kristina Lingo hit a sacrifice fly to give the Stags the lead, and Tiffany Lawson also scored on a throwing error. It wasn't enough though---the Stags would need one more run to win this game. And they got it when Ali Wigand doubled to left field scoring Lauren Liseth. Lehigh scored twice with two outs on 3 consecutive singles in their half of the 8th inning. But Rae Ball then induced a pop up to Ali Wigand at 3rd base and Fairfield won a nail biter. What had been a boring run rule game turned into a thriller.
The Stags finish their first weekend of play with a 2-3 record. Their freshmen did a fabulous job. The Stags can be a contender in 2011, but a second pitcher must emerge for them to be consistent. Fairfield will next be in action the weekend of March 11 at North Carolina State's Wolfpack Challenge.