May 14, 2010

No. 3 Softball Eliminated From Northeast Conference Tournament Following 3-0 Loss To Robert Morris

TEANECK, N.J. -The No. 3 Quinnipiac softball team was eliminated from the 2010 Northeast Conference Softball Tournament following a 6-0 loss to No. 2 Monmouth in their first game of the day, and a 3-0 loss to No. 4 Robert Morris in their second game of the day. Quinnipiac finishes the year at 28-24 overall.

Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) struck out nine batters across two games to push her second total to 255. She becomes the first Quinnipiac player to reach the 250 strikeout mark, while she also becomes the first Quinnipiac pitcher to strike out 200 batters in back-to-back seasons. Schwartzburg finishes the season at 20-8. Katie Allendorfer (Glenside, Pa.) recorded three hits for the day, while freshman Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.) had a hit in each game.

In the second game of the day, Quinnipiac starter Schwartzburg had a no-hitter going against Robert Morris before Annie Dubovec lined a single to second base in the top of the fourth inning. Schwartzburg retired the first five batters she faced before hitting Kayla Crooks with a pitch in the second inning. Both teams remained scoreless through five innings of play.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Joelle Jacobsen (Flemington, N.J.) walked to lead-off the inning before Salgado dropped down a bunt-single to give the Bobcats a pair of runners. Angela Cassella (Oceanside, N.Y.) sacrificed both runners into scoring position for Allendorfer.

Allendorfer had a hit in three consecutive at-bats up to that point, included a double and single in the second game. Colonials' starter Alexa Bryson walked Allendorfer on four pitches, bringing 2010 NEC Rookie of the Year Alex Alba (Newton, Mass.).

With the bases loaded and one out, Bryson got Alba to bounce a 3-and-2 offering back to the mound. Alba reached on a fielder's choice that retired Jacobsen at the plate for the second out of the inning. Bryson then got Kim Brzezinski to ground-out to end the inning and preserve the 0-0 tie.

In the top of the seventh, Schwartzburg struck out Megan Picinic before giving up a double to Britta Gratton. Gratton turned on a two-strike offering from Schwartzburg and drove the ball of the right-center wall. Jessica Tanigawa pinch-ran for Gratton. Schwartzburg then got Alicia Straining to pop-up before Jackie Timko grounded out to end the inning.

After Quinnipiac went in order in the bottom of the seventh, Allie Patton beat out a throw to first on a bunt to third to start the inning. Jessica Calderone then sacrificed her over to second before Annie Dubocevic doubled just inside the foul line to drive Patton home and give Robert Morris a 1-0 lead. After Sarah Capp lined out to right field, Crooks followed with a two-out, two-run homer the hug the left field line and just squeezed inside the foul pole in left field to give the Colonials a 3-0 lead.

In the first game, Quinnipiac threatened early, placing a pair of runners on base in each of the first two innings. Salgado led off the game with a single, which stood as Quinnipiac's only hit through the first four innings. Monmouth starter Lauren Sulick got in a groove after Quinnipiac put a runner on base in the second. The sophomore starter retired the next nine batters she faced into the fifth before Allendorfer singled. She managed to retire the final four batters of the game, allowing one hit over seven innings while two and striking out four to improve to 13-6 on the year.

In the bottom of the second, Quinnipiac starter Schwartzburg gave up a single to Monmouth's Alexa Ferrara to right field, who moved to second on an error by the Bobcats right fielder. After Kate Kuzma bunted Ferrara over to third, Chelsea Paprocki touched Schwartzburg for her first career home run, a two-run blast over the scoreboard past the left field fence at the FDU Softball Field. Schwartzburg rebounded to strike out Tish Derer to end the inning. The second-year Bobcat hurler had five strikeouts through the first four innings. She finished with five for the game.

In the fifth, Schwartzburg got Chelsea Paprocki to pop out for the first out of the inning before Derer stroked a double down the left field line and Christine Scherr walked. deLong then connected on a 1-and-2 offering from Schwartzburg, driving the ball over the left field fence for a three-run homer to give Monmouth a 5-0 lead.

In the sixth, Ferrarra led off the inning with a line drive to center field. She moved to third base when Kuzma reached on a throwing error by Quinnipiac's first baseman. After Dara Palms dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Kuzma into scoring position at second base, pinch-runner Anniela Vaccaro, who entered the game for Ferrarra, scored on a ground ball by Paprocki to second base to give Monmouth a 6-0 lead heading into the final inning.