Softball Splits Doubleheader With Central Connecticut

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. - Senior Heather Maffeo (Milton, Mass.) hit her first homerun of the 2010 season leading the Quinnipiac University softball team to a 5-4 victory in game two of a Northeast Conference doubleheader against Central Connecticut State this afternoon. The Bobcats split the doubleheader as they dropped the first game against the Blue Devils, 6-2. Quinnipiac's record now stands at 24-22 on the year with an 11-5 record in the Northeast Conference. Central Connecticut now posts a 19-27 record in 2010 with a 7-9 record in league action.

The Bobcats opened up the scoring in game one, crossing two unearned runs in the top of the first inning. Freshman Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.) got on base in the first at bat of the game, as she bunt singled in the lead off spot. Salgado advanced to second on a ground out in the following play before senior Katie Allendorfer (Glenside, Pa.) reached in the next at bat as she drew her 15th walk of the season. A fielding error by the third baseman scored Salgado unearned in the following play, advancing Allendorfer to second. Senior Emily Bellush (Newton, Mass.) drove Allendorfer around to score two plays later when she singled to center to earn the Bobcats a 2-0 lead.

The Blue Devils scattered their six runs across four different innings in game one, crossing the plate in all but the first and fifth innings. Junior catcher Katherine Knowles and senior outfielder Tiffany Erickson led Central Connecticut in game one as they each tallied two RBI apiece in the victory. Knowles smacked her second homerun of the season in the top of the fifth, while Erickson hit a two-run single in the fourth to lead the offensive contributions for the Blue Devils.

Bellush pitched the complete game for the Bobcats in game one, earning just two of the six runs on seven hits allowed. She also struck out a season-high of seven batters in the match-up in the six innings pitched. Junior Liz Montemurro earned the win for Central Connecticut, allowing six hits and one walk.

Quinnipiac gained an early lead against the Blue Devils in game two, as they crossed four runs in the top of the second inning. Bellush started the offensive rally, singling up the middle to open the stanza. Maffeo followed suit in the next at bat, advancing Bellush to second. A field error on a Kelly Wall (Westport, Conn.) grounder scored Bellush in the following play, earning base runners at first and third with a 1-0 lead. Senior Kim Le Bel (Quincy, Mass.) came up big in the next play, singling up the middle to score both runners to extend their lead to three. Le Bel came around to score an unearned run two plays later to earn a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the inning.

Central Connecticut cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third, scoring two runs in the inning. Sophomore Rebecca Mussatti and senior Jaclyn Logan each tallied an RBI in the inning to lead the offensive drive for the Blue Devils.

Maffeo extended the Bobcats' lead to 5-2 in the top of the fourth with her first homerun in her senior season. The solo shot was blasted to left field in the first at bat of the inning to become the winning run for Quinnipiac.

The Blue Devils crossed two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Bobcats' lead. Knowles and freshman Kelsey Barlow drove in the runs in the final inning to finalize the score at 5-4.

Freshman RHP Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.) earned the game-two victory for Quinnipiac, good for her third win of the season. The rookie pitched 4.1 innings in the effort, earning two runs on two hits allowed. Sophomore Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) came in for 2.2 innings of relief to earn her second save of the season. Schwartzburg also earned two runs on the day, and allowed five hits.

The Bobcats return to action tomorrow afternoon in their final home games of the 2010 season. The team will host Sacred Heart in a NEC doubleheader, scheduled to start at 12 p.m. The games will also serve as Senior Day for Quinnipiac's eight graduating players.