April 2, 2010

Softball Sweeps Siena In Doubleheader

HAMDEN, Conn. - Senior Emily Bellush (Newton, Mass.) went 2-for-5 on the day with a walk-off homerun, three RBI and a win from the circle as the Quinnipiac University softball team swept Siena College in a non-conference doubleheader this afternoon. Senior Katie Allendorfer (Glenside, Pa.) knocked in five runs on the day with a three-run homerun as the Bobcats earned a 8-7 victory in game one, followed by a 3-0 shutout in game two. Sophomore Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) picked up the shutout victory as the Bobcats improve to 13-15 on the year. With the losses, the Saints drop to 3-22 overall this season.

The two teams matched one another in the first inning of play, as Siena jumped on the board in the top of the first with a three-run shot to left by senior Courtney Mahan. The Bobcats followed suit, however, and tied the game after one inning of play with Allendorfer's three-run drive, also to left field. Sophomores Alex Murray (Milford, Mass.) and Jessica Amenda (Milford, Conn.) got on base before Allendorfer to match the Saints at 3-3.

Siena picked up two more runs in the third inning, both unearned, to take a 5-3 lead. Seniors Mahan and Lauren Weingart scored the runs for the Saints in the top of the inning on two hits and one error in the field. A sixth run crossed in the top of the fifth inning when Sara Gallacchi scored from first base on a Shannon Jones double.

The Bobcats came within one run in the bottom of the fifth inning, with senior Heather Maffeo (Milton, Mass.) starting off with a walk, followed by a bunt single by Murray. Amenda advanced both runners to second and third in the following play with a sacrifice bunt to the first baseman. Allendorfer drove the runners home in the next at bat as she singled through the right side to make it 6-5.

One more run crossed for the Saints in the top of the seventh when Weingart knocked in freshman Mandy Ferro from second base. Though taking a two-run lead, Siena couldn't hold on as the Bobcats responded with three more runs in the bottom of the seventh for the victory.

Senior Kim Le Bel (Quincy, Mass.) scored the first run of the final half-inning, pinch running for Allendorfer with one out on the board. Le Bel was brought around from first when freshman Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.) tripled down the right field line, notching her fifth RBI of the season. Bellush stepped to the plate in the next at bat and smacked the first pitch she saw deep into center field for the walk-off homerun and the 8-7 victory.

Bellush also earned the win in the first game, as she pitched four relief innings in her third victory of the season. She earned two runs on four hits while striking out three. Alba got the start for the Bobcats, pitching three innings and earning three runs on five hits.

Quinnipiac earned the early lead in game two of the day, and never looked back. Key defensive plays sparked the early offensive surge, as Schwartzburg, Alba and Bellush turned an early double play in the first inning and senior Angela Casella (Oceanside, N.Y) made a diving third-out catch in the top of the second to give the Bobcats confidence at the plate.

Two runs crossed for Quinnipiac in the bottom of the second inning. Seniors Le Bel and Kelly Wall (Westport, Conn.) scored for the Bobcats in the second, as they both reached on singles through the infield. Wall was scored on an infield error with Le Bel right behind her sliding just under the catcher's tag to earn a 2-0 lead.

The final run of the day came across the plate in the bottom of the fifth inning with Maffeo pinch-running the bases for Allendorfer, who singled through the left side. Alba advanced Maffeo with a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher. Bellush brought Maffeo home in the next play when she singled through the left as well, earning her third RBI of the day.

The shutout was the fourth of the year for Schwartzburg, who never faltered on the mound for Quinnipiac. The sophomore pitched the complete game, allowing just four hits on the day. She struck out seven batters to earn her eighth victory of the year.

The Bobcats return to action tomorrow afternoon, hosting their first conference match-up in a doubleheader against Bryant. The first game is scheduled to start at 12 p.m. at the Quinnipiac Softball Field.