Hamden, Conn. - Freshman Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) hit a walk-off home run as the Quinnipiac University softball team swept Fairleigh Dickinson, 3-2 and 5-3, in a Northeast Conference doubleheader on Tuesday, April 26. Fairleigh Dickinson led in the early innings of both games, but the Bobcats rallied late to take wins in both contests. Quinnipiac improves to 27-20 on the year and 11-5 in conference play, while the Knights drop to 22-21 overall and 6-10 in the NEC.
Junior hurler Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) improved her 2011 record to 19-9 as she won both games for the Bobcats. Schwartzburg went the distance as she pitched a complete seven innings in game one and pitched the final three innings of game two. She struck out a combined 16 batters and only let up four hits overall.
Sophomore outfielder Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.) led the Bobcats as she went 4-for-6 with a run scored on the day. Paolucci and junior second baseman Jacqueline Ristow (Seal Beach, Calif.) each went 3-for-7, while Paolucci scored two runs and picked up two RBI. Ristow also scored a run for Quinnipiac. In addition, senior Kim Brzezinski (Tinley Park, Ill.) drove in two runs, while classmate Julie Sini (Elgin, Texas) scored two Quinnipiac runs.
In game one, Fairleigh Dickinson took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning as Maria Roney hit a two-run homer to left center.
Quinnipiac answered with a run in the bottom of the second. With two outs on the inning, Salgado singled to left field. Junior Christy Cabrera (Reno, Nev.) tripled to center field, driving in Salgado to narrow the gap by one run, 2-1.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Quinnipiac's Ristow singled to center field, keeping the Bobcats alive. After Sini entered the game to pinch run for Ristow, Paolucci hit a walk-off home run to center field, driving in two runs for the 3-2 win over the Knights. The two-run homer was Paolucci's 11th homer of the year.
In the second outing of the day, Fairleigh Dickinson scored its first run of the game in the top of the first inning as Marikka Benson crossed home plate on a Caitlin Bradac single. The Knights added a run in the second inning when Berkleigh Massey scored on a wild pitch. In the bottom of the third, Fairleigh Dickinson's Roney scored an unearned run, increasing the Knights' advantage to 3-0.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Bobcats' came back to tie the game at three runs at piece. With one out on the inning, Paolucci doubled to left center and came around to score when Brzezinski singled through the left side. After Sini entered the game to pinch run for Brzezinski, Kortney Kesses (Woodbridge, Conn.) singled through the left side. Both Sini and Kesses each stole a base and were driven in by senior Joelle Jacobsen (Flemington, N.J.), who singled through the left side.
Quinnipiac went ahead, 4-3, in the bottom of the fifth as Brzezinski singled through the left side to drive in Ristow for the game-winning run. The Bobcats added an insurance run in the sixth inning on an Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.) single.
The Bobcats return to action when they travel to play a pair of non-conference games at Stony Brook on Wednesday, April 27 starting at 3:00 p.m. The doubleheader will be held at University Field in Stony Brook, N.Y.