April 13, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
Idle during the week following an 8-4 from-behind win over Colgate in closing out a four-game Patriot League series last weekend, Army's softball team has an important date taking on conference rival Bucknell in Lewisburg, Pa., in a pair of doubleheaders Saturday (1 p.m.) and Sunday (12 p.m.).
Fans unable to make the trip to Becker Field on the campus of Bucknell will be able to follow the action through live stats for all four games available on the Army website by logging onto www.GoARMYsports.com. In-game Twitter updates will be offered throughout the weekend via Army's official Twitter handle (@ArmyAthletics).
Saturday's game will also feature a Community Outreach program with the Bison collecting donations for the Angel 34 Foundation to support the fight against childhood cancer.
The Black Knights (22-15) find themselves third in the conference standings after two league weekends with a 5-3 record (Army swept Holy Cross the opening weekend and went 1-3 vs. Colgate last weekend) trailing defending champion Lehigh (8-0) and Colgate (7-1). It is a key weekend as all six teams will be jockeying to keep alive their hopes for a bid to the conference tournament in May.
The Mountain Hawks posted sweeps of Lafayette and Bucknell, while the Raiders took three of last weekend's four-game series with Army after sweeping the Bison in the conference opener. Lehigh heads to Holy Cross (1-7) for a four-game series and Colgate visits Lafayette (3-5). The top three teams, who show a combined 20-4 mark in league action, are taking on teams in the lower half of the standings who have won just four of 24 games following the first two weekends of conference matchups.
Army went 3-3 last week starting with a non-conference home sweep of Temple, 3-2 and 6-3, that extended the Black Knights win streak to eight straight. Colgate, the defending regular-season champions, came from behind in snapping Army's run with come-from-behind 4-1 and 5-4 wins in sweeping the first day doubleheader. Army split the second day twinbill, pulling out an 8-4 nightcap decision after being blanked 7-0 in the third game of the series.
Bucknell is caught in a six-game losing streak that began in last weekend's four-game set with Lehigh followed by a non-conference midweek road sweep to Marist, 10-2 and 4-2.
Individually, freshman hurler Morgan Lashley (18-11) leads the league in innings pitched (198.0), appearances (36), games started (31), games completed (21), wins (18) and strikeouts (156). Lashley's .236 opponent batting average and four shutouts list second. She shows a stingy 2.51 ERA overall and 2.23 ERA in league game where she is 5-2.
Four Black Knights are batting over .300 with Alexis AuBuchon's .400 setting the pace followed by Amanda Nguyen (.346) and April Ortenzo (.339) as that trio ranks third, seventh and eighth, respectively, in the league. AuBuchon is hitting .542 in league play, banging out a team-high 13 hits along with 12 RBI. .
Aubuchon and Nguyen lead Army with 44 hits with Ortenzo next at 43 in ranking among the top four hitters in the league. Ortenzo is tied for fourth in runs scored (eight)and is second in doubles (11). Alex Reynolds, who is tied with Nguyen for second on the team with 21 runs scored, has smashed four home runs to share the team lead and stand second in the league with freshman Rae Anne Payleitner. Nguyen ranks second in the league in stolen bases with 12 with Ortenzo tied for fourth with eight and Reanna Johnson sharing seventh (seven).
The Bison (6-25, 0-8 PLare led offensively by Meredith Dickson who has a team-high 25 hits along with a .316 batting average with Mary Horton next with 21 hits and a .304 average. Cydnee Sanders is the top run producer with 10 runs scored and Mallory Lyons has driven in a team-high 11 RBI. In the circle ,Alex MacLean has three wins and a 6.73 ERA with Bridget Gates picking up the other two wins recording a 4.00 ERA.
Army heads into the weekend rivalry with Bucknell holding a 42-30 series advantage after going 3-1 in last year's four-game series at West Point that clinched the final berth to the Patriot League Tournament for the Black Knights. Army swept the Bison, 3-1 and 6-0, the first day to earn its 18th bid to the league tournament, then snapped a 1-1 tie the next day on Johnson's leadoff home run in the top of the seventh to earn a split with a 3-1 nightcap decision