NORFOLK, Va. - Senior outfielder Kim Le Bel (Quincy, Mass.) and sophomore second baseman Alex Murray (Milford, Mass.) each homered as the Quinnipiac University softball team lost, 11-7, to Norfolk State Friday evening in the first game of the Norfolk State Invitational. Pitchers Emily Bellush (Newton, Mass.) and Jaimie Iaquinto (Dix Hills, N.Y.) split time from the circle, striking out a collective four batters on the day. With the loss, the Bobcats' record drops to 0-3 on the year while the Spartans improve to 2-3 this season.
"Our offense was the highlight of our game today," said head coach Germaine Fairchild. "We were very effective from the plate and we were hitting the ball well. Our defense needs improvement, but it will come with more play on the field."
Iaquinto started the game for Quinnipiac, pitching two innings where she gave up three earned runs and three walks, while striking out one. Norfolk State tallied two doubles and a single in the first inning to earn three runs, followed by two unearned runs in the second inning. Gipsy Ramirez and Danielle Wright picked up the doubles for Norfolk in the first.
With two outs in the top of the third, the Bobcats started their biggest offensive rally of the game, starting when senior Katie Allendorfer (Glenside, Pa.) was walked. In the following at bat, Bellush tripled to drive in the first Quinnipiac run of the game. Le Bel singled to center in the next play driving Bellush home, followed by Murray's two-run drive to right-center to pull within one run behind the Spartans. The homerun was the first of Murray's career
Both teams picked up an unearned run in the bottom of the third and the top of the fourth, heading into the bottom of the fourth with a 6-5 Spartan lead. Norfolk picked up four runs in that inning, earning RBI from Ramirez, Meghan Ramsey and a two-run single by Meagan Long. Wright picked up her third RBI of the game in the bottom of the fifth with a single up the middle, driving in the 11th Spartan run.
The Bobcats had a final offensive surge in the top of the seventh, scoring two runs in the inning. Bellush got things started with a single into right field to start the inning. She didn't stay on base for long, as Le Bel knocked her in with her two-run homer into right-center, the second of her career.
Bellush finished the game from the circle for Quinnipiac, pitching four innings and earning five runs. The senior struck out three batters in the game. Casey Pomeroy earned the win for the Spartans, pitching 4.1 innings and earning two runs while striking out three.
The Bobcats return to action tomorrow when they play two games in day two of the Norfolk State Invitational. They start the day at 11 a.m. when they play Iona College, and play the second game at 5 p.m. against Rider University.