The Quinnipiac University softball team hits the road this weekend to compete in the Norfolk State Invitational in Norfolk, Va. The Bobcats will play in four games in the tournament which includes three other participants: Norfolk State University, Iona College and Rider University. Quinnipiac will start the tournament against tournament-host Norfolk State on Friday night at 7 p.m., followed by games against Iona and Rider on Saturday at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., respectively. The Bobcats will play in one final game on Sunday morning at 9 a.m. against Rider. In its last outing, Quinnipiac fell to Longwood University, 6-5, on Feb. 21.
Scouting the Spartans
Norfolk State University has compiled a 1-3 record thus far on the season, most recently dropping a doubleheader against Canisius College on Feb. 20. The Spartans are led by senior catcher/third baseman Rebecca Barnes, who is currently batting .417 and has driven in five runs on the year. Sophomore pitcher Elizabeth Casteneda has appeared in three games for Norfolk State this season, and posts a .093 earned-run average and has struck out four batters.
Scouting the Gaels
Iona has yet to tally a victory this season, as they are 0-3 after a weekend tournament hosted by Florida State on Feb. 13-14. In their last outing, the Gaels lost to Bowling Green, 4-0, on Feb. 14. Junior shortstop Tessa Earley currently leads Iona offensively, batting .333 on the year with two hits. Three different pitchers have appeared in two games apiece for Iona this season, with sophomore right-hander Sarah Jackson leading the way with a 6.43 ERA and eight strikeouts.
Scouting the Broncos
Rider has seen the same fate as the Gaels and the Bobcats, as they have not yet earned a win in the 2010 season. The Broncos most recently fell to Elon, 5-1, in a tournament hosted by the Phoenix in North Carolina. Rider is led by senior outfielder Candice Harris, who currently bats .222 on the year with two hits and one RBI. Sophomore right-hander Rachel Matreale has started two games thus far for the Broncos, posting a 7.00 ERA with ten strikeouts.
Exploding on to the Scene
Sophomore second baseman Alex Murray (Milford, Mass.) was one of the top sources of Bobcat offense last weekend in Newport News, hitting two doubles in the games against Fordham and Longwood, her first of her career. In the second game of the day against Longwood, Murray smacked a three-run double and scored on the following play to help Quinnipiac garner a 5-0 lead on the Lancers in the second inning. She also hit a double and scored a run in the first game against Fordham.
Right Where She Left Off
Senior outfielder Angela Casella (Oceanside, N.Y.) also saw a great offensive weekend for Quinnipiac against Longwood and Fordham, driving in two Bobcat runs in the tournament. Casella hit two doubles on the weekend and drove in the lone Quinnipiac run in the first game against Fordham. Her offensive momentum carried into the second game of the day against Longwood, as she went 2-4 with a double and an RBI.
Four different players picked up singles on the weekend in Newport News. Senior Emily Bellush (Newton, Mass.), and freshmen Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.), Jacqueline Ristow (Seal Beach, Calif.) and Kourtney Kesses (Woodbridge, Conn.) each hit singles in the game against Longwood. Each of the four players also scored a run for Quinnipiac in the game against the Lancers.
Salgado has already started displaying her speed for the Bobcats in just two games played this season. Heralded for her speed, Salgado has been clocked running from home plate to first base in just 2.6 seconds, and led her high school and travel teams in steals and runs before coming to Quinnipiac. The quick freshman picked up her first steal of her career in the game against Longwood, the first steal of the season for the Bobcats.
After setting the season-strikeout record for Quinnipiac in a season (206) and leading the Northeast Conference in the same category, sophomore pitcher Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) was back at it in the game against Fordham. Despite the 6-1 loss, the right-hander allowed just one earned run and struck out seven batters in the game.