Softball Heads To Holy Cross This Weekend

Rae Anne Payleitner

Rae Anne Payleitner

April 5, 2013

WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army's softball team heads to New England this weekend for a key four-game Patriot League series at Holy Cross. The Black Knights (16-13, 2-2 PL) are tied for third place in the standings and the Crusaders (9-13, 3-1 PL) share the lead with defending champion Lehigh following the opening weekend of competition.

Army swept Colgate 4-3 in 13 innings in the opener and 5-3 in the nightcap the first day of league play, but the Raiders bounced back to take two the final day to earn a split with the Black Knights.

Two days later the Black Knights swept a strong Delaware team that came into the fray 25-6. Army overcame an early deficit to take a 4-3 opening win followed by a 7-0 blanking in the nightcap as the Black Knights raked Delaware for 19 hits in the twinbill.

Junior SS April Ortenzo, who combined to go 3-for-6 with four runs batted in and scored a run, powered the Black Knights' 7-0 nightcap decision going 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI in support of freshman Braetana Roy's two-hitter.

In the opener, sophomore hurler Morgan Lashley's battery mate (sophomore Rae Anne Payleitner) singled home the go-ahead run in the top of the fourth inning in Army's come-from-behind win. Lashley yielded just two hits throwing shutout ball over the final five frames after being touched for three runs, just two earned, over the first two innings.

Army ranks among the league's leaders in batting (.295) and fielding (.973), while listing third in pitching (3.15 ERA). In league play, Army is first in fielding (.985) and fourth in batting (.242) and pitching (3.29).

Junior OF Amanda Nguyen ranks first in the league in hits (43) and stolen bases (19), and lists third in batting (.394) and runs scored (25). The Black Knights have the top hitters in the league with four holding down the top five spots. In addition to Nguyen, freshman 3B Kasey McCravey is second with 34 hits and senior co-captain 2B Alex Reynolds is third (33) followed by junior OF Marina Northup (31), who is fifth.

Ortenzo, who shares the captaincy with Reynolds, is first in RBI with 23, tied for third in home runs (three) and ninth in hits (26). McCravey, who is ninth in batting (.347), is tied for the lead in runs scored (27), lists second in total bases (47) and fourth in RBI (19). Reynolds is tied for third in doubles (seven) and shares fifth in RBI (14) with Northup.

In the circle, Lashley ranks first in the league in strikeouts (105), wins (13), innings pitched (140.0), appearances (22) and games started (21). She is second in opposition batting average (.231) and games completed (21) posting a 2.85 ERA.

The Black Knights hold a commanding 59-25 lead in the all-time series with the Crusaders after sweeping last year's four-game series at West Point.

Lashley fired 12 shutout innings the first day, striking out 17 batters in the doubleheader tossing a two-hitter in an 8-0 five innings first game blanking and scattering four hits in a 1-0 nightcap decision. She recorded both wins the second day as well.

Army completed the weekend with its second doubleheader sweep the next day in a come-from-behind 10-4 win in the opener and 5-3 nightcap decision. Payleitner, who combined to go 4-for-6 in the DH with five RBI and three runs scored, smacked a three-run homer in the opener and ripped a two-run blast in the nightcap that keyed a four-run tie-breaking fifth inning.

Army visits Drexel in Philadelphia on Wednesday, April 10, before returning to league play visiting defending champion and preseason favorite Lehigh the weekend of April 13-14.

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