LOS ANGELES, Calif. – A pair of strong pitching performances made offense hard to come by as the Brown softball team fell to Lehigh, 5-2, and host squad Loyola Marymount, 5-0, on the opening day of the LMU Invitational at Smith Field on Friday. The Bears now stand at 2-5, while the Mountain Hawks are 3-9 and the Lions are 10-8.
Freshman Christina Andrews (Southlake, Texas) singled and drove in a pair in game one while classmate Casey Fisher (Oro Valley, Ariz.) ripped two hits including a double in the nightcap. Freshman Gina Chieffallo (Eynon, Pa.) hurled 1.2 innings of perfect relief against LMU, but the Bears ran into a staggering 17-strikeout performance by Sydney Gouveia, who allowed just two hits in the complete game shutout.
In game one, Lehigh's Emily Bausher crushed two solo home runs and the Mountain Hawks scored three times in the fourth inning to pull away with a 5-2 win over the Bears. Brown managed just three hits but struck out only once and played flawless defense. Andrews went 1-for-2 with a walk and two RBI, while junior Kelsey Hom (Santa Monica, Calif.) and senior Jen Kries (Mission Viejo, Calif.) each singled. Freshman Leah Nakashima (San Jose, Calif.) was saddled with the loss in 4.0 innings of work, while junior Jessica Cherness (Torrance, Calif.) allowed a run on two hits in 2.0 frames.
Both sides went down in order in the first and Bausher's first bomb, a one-out solo shot to left center, got Lehigh on the board in the second. The Mountain Hawks tacked on three more runs in the fourth, starting with three singles to load the bases with one away. McKenzie Velasquez poked a two-run single to left and Alexis Watanabe knocked an RBI base hit to center to put Lehigh ahead 4-0 after four innings.
Hom broke up the no-hitter with a leadoff single to open the top of the sixth and Kries placed an infield hit to put runners on first and second with nobody out. A lineout and fly out put two away, but a two-out walk set the stage for Andrews to rip a two-run single to left and cut the deficit to 5-2.
Freshman catcher Julia Schoenewald (Jamison, Pa.) gunned down a Lehigh runner trying to steal second to end the sixth, but the Bears went down in order in the seventh to end the game.
Fisher recorded an infield single in the top of the first in game two, but her leadoff double in the fourth would be the only other hit from Brown as Gouveia settled in and silenced the Bears' bats in the 5-0 outcome. Cherness battled for 4.1 innings and blanked the Lions through the first two frames, working around two walks, a hit batter and a wild pitch in a scoreless first. The second inning went more smoothly for Cherness but LMU pushed across an unearned run on Stephanie Crist's single to left in the third.
A four-run fifth inning gave Gouveia room to work thanks to Alex Finie's leadoff solo homer and a three-run jack to left by Sterling Shuster. Chieffallo came on in relief and retired all five batters she faced on three fly outs and a pair of grounders.
Brown takes the field for a rematch against LMU tomorrow at 4 p.m. followed by a tilt against Belmont at 6 p.m.