Lehigh’s doubleheader win against College of the Holy Cross on Saturday at Leadership Park puts the Mountain Hawks in position to clinch the Patriot League regular season championship.
A win against the Crusaders (7-34, 3-13 Patriot) at Leadership Park on Sunday will complete the sweep and send the Mountain Hawks (35-13, 13-3 Patriot) to the tournament with a No. 1 seed.
The Mountain Hawks took the Patriot League Championship Tournament last year and have won the regular-season title almost every year since 1999, missing out only in the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
Lehigh senior infielder Morgan Decker says a major key to success in the Patriot League Tournament is going to be that everyone on the team is playing together as one cohesive unit instead of a group of individuals.
“We’re not going to win a game because of one person,” Decker said. “So I think we’re just really trying to make sure that everyone is playing their best when we go into championships.”
Decker leads the team with a .403 batting average going into the third and final game in the series with the Crusaders. In the doubleheader Saturday, she was on base five times with walks and hit a sacrifice fly to drive in a run in the second game.
For Decker, Sunday’s game not only wraps up the regular season, but it also wraps up her time playing softball at Lehigh.
“It’s very bittersweet,” Decker said. “I’m a little bit scared, a little bit excited to move on, but I’ve had an amazing four years here. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. I’m sad to see it go, but I’m excited to see what all of us seniors do in the future. I think we all have bright futures ahead of us, and I know that I have a family here to fall back on.”
Holy Cross is coming into Sunday on a 12-game losing streak. Seven of those came in Patriot League games with Army West Point and Boston University.
Looking at Sunday’s game, Lehigh coach Fran Troyan said his team needs to get to the Holy Cross pitcher earlier than they did in the games Saturday.
“She got confidence today, so what we really need to do is try to score a run or two early and get a little bit of confidence,” Troyan said.
Lehigh leads the all-time series with Holy Cross with a 79-18 record. The Mountain Hawks took two out of three games last year at Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
“Tomorrow is a big game, but I think that we have to come out and play our game,” Decker said. “When we come out and we play the way that we can play and we control the game, we control our own destiny, and I think that we definitely can do that tomorrow and come out with the win.”