The Lehigh softball team gathers between innings during their game against Lafayette on April 20, 2024. Lehigh beat Lafayette 5-0 in both of the doubleheader games. (Javin Adderley/B&W Staff)

Lehigh softball starts Patriot League play 12-0


After beginning the year with a 12-0 record, the Lehigh softball team has turned things around, going 9-0 in Patriot League play. The Mountain Hawks are riding a 16-game win streak after sweeping multiple series against conference opponents Colgate, Holy Cross, Bucknell and Lafayette.

Senior pitcher Ansley Dambach said cohesion within the team helped in Lehigh’s winning efforts. She said it took a lot of practice to figure out how to communicate effectively. 

We have a really young team with a lot of freshman and sophomore starters in the field, so our team chemistry was very new at the start of the season,” Dambach said. “It kind of just clicked in one practice during defensive reps and it’s been up from there.”

In her senior season, Dambach has five appearances on the mound with one start and 8.2 innings pitched.  

Senior pitcher Katelyn Young said the team’s inexperience in playing together caused some challenges at the beginning of the season.

We had leadership challenges and figuring out what everyone’s roles were,” Young said. “It was also a bit of a challenge getting comfortable with multiple freshmen and a transfer all joining the starting lineup and gelling as a group.”

Young is currently 8-0 in Patriot League play with a 1.10 ERA, and ranks second in strikeouts and innings pitched. Young, as well as fellow pitcher, junior Maria Urban are combined for a 11-0 record. Urban sits in first for ERA, yet to give up an earned run in league play.

Dambach said the dominance of the pitching staff and timely hitting enable the team’s success during their win streak.

“From a pitching perspective, Kate and Maria have been completely dominant,” Dambach said. “Kate had an all-time strikeout high and her stamina is insane. When you combine that with Maria’s ability to hit spots and make her pitches move a ridiculous amount, our staff is unstoppable.”

Young said the team’s high morale thus far will benefit them during playoff time. 

She said the key to winning a championship is playing for the person next to her and not just for herself.

As league play continues, the Mountain Hawks are eager to make the Patriot League Championship. Sophomore utility player Sydney Parlett spoke to the team’s mindset moving forward to playoffs.

We are feeling confident that we can not only make a run in the playoffs, but we can win the Patriot League Tournament,” Parlett said. “We know that it will not come easy and we will need to continue to work hard each day, as well as trust in the abilities of one another if we want to succeed.”

As a first-year, Parlett was named to the second team All-Patriot League at third base along with the Patriot League All-Tournament Team. 

Parlett said the team’s camaraderie and support will play a big factor in the remainder of the season and preparation for the playoffs.

“Our team is very unified in terms of working toward a specific goal,” Parlett said. “We are all excited about the present, as well as the opportunity to compete in future post-season games.”

The Mountain Hawks concluded last season with a difficult loss to Army in the Patriot League Tournament. 

Young says Boston University is one of the tougher conference opponents they will face, as they are currently 12-0 in league play and reigning Patriot League champions.

The Patriot League Tournament is set for May 9-11, where the Mountain Hawks look to bring the trophy back to South Mountain.

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