Scouting the Knights
Fairleigh Dickinson posts a 16-30 overall record this season with a 6-12 mark in the NEC. The conference record ranks the Knights eighth with a .333 winning percentage. The team most recently swept Central Connecticut in a conference doubleheader on May 2. Freshman Mikayla Fernandez leads the team offensively as she bats .336 through 46 games played with 46 hits and 21 RBI. Sophomore RHP Caitlin Bradac posts a 4.51 ERA in 28 appearances from the circle for the Knights. Bradac has struck out 126 batters on the year.
For the first time since 2007, Quinnipiac earned a bid into the Northeast Conference Softball Championship, as they have already clinched a top-four seed in league play. The Bobcats currently rank third in the NEC, posting a 13-5 record in conference action. The four teams have already been determined heading into the final weekend of play. Long Island, Monmouth, and Robert Morris will join Quinnipiac in the postseason tournament. The top-seed has yet to be determined.
The tournament will consist of a four-team double-elimination tournament running through May 14-15. The top-seeded team in the conference will host and the winning team will move on to the NCAA Regional Tournament. Four games will played on the first day of competition, with two or three games to be played on Saturday. The winner of the tournament will be named the Northeast Conference Champion and will go on to compete in the NCAA Regionals during the weekend of May 21-23.
She's At It Again
Senior third baseman Kelly Wall (Westport, Conn.) continued her clutch hitting performance in the doubleheader against Sacred Heart on May 2. Down two runs in the bottom of the sixth with two outs on the board, back-to-back batters reached on infield errors. Wall came to the plate in the following play and drilled a three-run homer to left to take a 4-3 lead over the Pioneers. The homerun was Wall's team-leading sixth of the year.
In game two against Sacred Heart on May 2, the two teams battled to a 4-4 tie heading into the final inning with Quinnipiac coming to the plate one last time in the bottom of the seventh. The Bobcats loaded the bases within the first four batters of the inning, bringing freshman Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.) to the plate. Paying no attention to the pressure, Alba singled through the right side to score the runner from third for the instant victory.
Bring 'Em Around
The Bobcats' bats were alive in game one against the Pioneers, tallying seven hits in the 6-2 victory. Senior Emily Bellush (Newton, Mass.) drove in three runs in the win, as she went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Wall also went 2-for-3 in game one, and finished the day with four hits. Senior Heather Maffeo (Milton, Mass.) drove in two runs in game one, tallying a two-run single in the second inning.
Quinnipiac split a doubleheader with Central Connecticut on May 1, earning a close 5-4 victory in game two on the day. The team scored four runs in the second inning, with senior Kim Le Bel (Quincy, Mass.) leading the effort with a two-run single up the middle. Maffeo homered in the top of the fourth in the victory, scoring the game-winning fifth run for the Bobcats. This season, Quinnipiac posts a 15-6 record in one-run games. .
Three Heads Are Better Than One
Three different pitchers recorded victories for the Bobcats in the weekend against Central Connecticut and Sacred Heart. Bellush, Alba and sophomore Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) each earned a W from the circle, with Alba earning the victory against Sacred Heart, and Schwartzburg and Bellush posting wins against Sacred Heart. Schwartzburg also earned two saves on the weekend.
The Bobcats currently top the NEC in stolen bases, as they have collected 52 on the year. That total is nine bases ahead of the team that ranks second in the category, as Long Island has stolen 43 this season. Freshman Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.) continues to lead the conference in the individual category, as she has stolen 13 bases in 2010.