North Florida University (12-10)
Winthrop University (6-14)
Dartmouth University (2-3)
Florida Gulf Coast University (13-16)
University of New York at Buffalo (3-6)
Final Days In
The Sunshine State
The Quinnipiac University softball team (9-10) will play five games at the University of South Florida in The Game Tournament this weekend, March 18-20. The Bobcats will face North Florida, Winthrop, Dartmouth, Florida Gulf Coast, and Buffalo. Quinnipiac enters the tournament after defeating Boston University, 2-1, in its most recent outing on Wednesday.
The Game Tournament
The Bobcats will face North Florida and Winthrop on Friday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively. Quinnipiac will then play another two games on Saturday against Dartmouth at 3 p.m. and Florida Gulf Coast at 5:30 p.m. The team competes in its final game in Florida when it takes on Buffalo on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. For tournament information, please visit the University of South Florida's Official Athletics website. Links are available on the Quinnipiac University Official Athletics website, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.
Last Time Out
In its most recent outing, Quinnipiac defeated Boston University, 2-1, on Wednesday, March 15 in Clearwater, Fla. The Bobcats' junior pitcher Heather Schwartzburg took the win, striking out 14 batters across seven innings. The Terriers scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning. Quinnipiac answered with two runs in the top of the second when Jacqueline Ristow's (Seal Beach, Calif.) two-run single scored Bridget Figmic (Stratford, Conn.) and Ashley Heiberger (Sioux Falls, S.D.). Ristow led the Bobcats as she went 1-3, driving in two runs, while Figmic went 2-3 with a run scored.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION:
North Florida Ospreys
The Ospreys enter the tournament at 12-10 overall, with a 6-1 mark at home and a 2-1 record on the road. In its most recent match-ups, North Florida split two games at its Osprey Invitational. The Ospreys lost to Kansas, 2-1, and defeated Alabama State, 6-4. Freshman pitcher Cortney Radke has led North Florida from the circle with an 8-10 record, 1.82 ERA and 127 strikeouts on the year. Junior Alyson Bailey leads the team with a .333 batting average (21-63), while Mariah Reynolds has drove in a team-high 15 runs. In addition, Jackie Reese leads the Ospreys with 11 runs scored.
The Eagles (6-14) are coming off two loses against Presbyterian College in the Winthrop/adidas Invitational on Wednesday, March 16. Freshman pitcher Natalie Becker leads Winthrop with a 2.88 ERA and three wins on the season. Sophomore Chelsey Schoenfeldt leads the Eagles with a .340 batting average, contributing a team-high 17 hits on the year. Senior infielder Brittany Stoudemire has driven in nine runs for the Eagles, while junior infielder Megan Chapman has tallied 10 runs and hits.
Dartmouth, currently at 2-3 on the year, will face Long Island of the Northeast Conference on Thursday, March 17 before attending The Game Tournament this weekend. The Big Green have picked up wins over Tennessee-Martin and Colgate this season, while falling to St. Francis, Colgate, and Florida Gulf Coast. Junior pitcher Hillary Barker has won two games for the Big Green, posting a 2.33 ERA. Senior Audrey Kolodziej leads Dartmouth with a .438 batting average (7-16), while infielder Noelle Ramirez leads the team in RBI (5).
Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
FGCU enters the tournament with an overall record of 13-16. The Eagles split two games on Wednesday, March 16, as it shutout Buffalo, 4-0, and lost to Purdue, 3-2, in eight innings. Senior Catherine McDaniel has recorded a 2.00 ERA and a 5-8 record this year. Senior Courtney Platt leads the team with 20 runs scored and a .324 batting average, while freshmen Brittany Garabedian and Jessica Barnes have each picked up 15 RBI. Platt, Garabedian, and outfielder Mariah Fernandez have each contributed more than 20 hits.
The Bulls (3-16) are coming off a 6-1 loss to Purdue and a 4-0 loss to Florida Gulf Coast on Wednesday. Eagles' sophomore infielder Jessica Griffin leads the team with a .250 batting average, collecting 13 hits and driving in seven runs this year. Sophomore Ashley Bertot and freshman Holly Luciano have each scored six runs for Buffalo.
A Look Back At Florida:
Defeating The Dutch
The Bobcats defeated the Netherlands National Team, 7-6, in 10 innings in an exhibition game on Sunday, March 13. In the bottom of the 10th, Quinnipiac's Alex Alba singled down the right-field line, driving in Jacqueline Ristow for the game-winning run.
Under Armour Showcase
Last weekend, the Bobcats competed at the Under Armour Showcase where they lost to Wisconsin Green Bay, 7-2, St. John's, 4-3, St. Joseph's, 8-5, and Maryland, 4-1, at the tournament. The Bobcats' only win at the tournament was a 4-0 shutout against Ball State. Heather Schwartzburg picked up her fourth victory against the Cardinals, as she struck out 11 batters in seven innings for Quinnipiac. Christy Cabrera went 2-4 and led the Bobcats with two runs scored and an RBI.
Under Armour Invitational
The Bobcats went 3-2 at the Under Armour Invitational. Quinnipiac posted wins against Loyola Marymount, 5-1, Florida International, 6-1, and Maine, 1-0. The Bobcats lost to Western Michigan, 5-3, and Central Michigan, 8-0. Alex Alba contributed two runs and two hits, driving in five runs at the invitational, while Jacqueline Ristow and Christy Cabrera each had four hits. Cabrera also picked up four RBI on the weekend. Heather Schwartzburg earned two wins, while freshman pitcher Katie Alfiere won one game for Quinnipiac.
NEC Weekly Award
The Bobcats' Heather Schwartzburg picked up her first Northeast Conference honor of the 2011 season as she was named the Akadema/NEC Pitcher of the Week on March 7. Schwartzburg appeared in three games, starting in two of them, for Quinnipiac at the Under Armour Invitational. The junior right-handed pitcher won two games against Loyola Marymount and Florida International. In 16 and 1/3 innings, she struck out 26 batters and only allowed two hits and seven runs, recording a 0.43 ERA overall.
2011 QU Leaders
The Bobcats are led by two-time All-Northeast Conference pitcher Heather Schwartzburg, who earned the 2009 NEC Rookie of the Year title and a First Team selection in 2010. Alex Alba was named the NEC's Rookie of the Year in 2010. Senior captain Joelle Jacobsen will lead the Bobcats this season, alongside 12 returning letterwinners, five freshman and two junior transfers from Iowa Lakes Community College in Ashley Heiberger and Christy Cabrera.
The Bobcats were selected to finish fourth in the 2011 Northeast Conference Coaches' Preseason Poll, after making an appearance in the NEC Tournament in 2010. The Bobcats posted a 29-24 overall record and a 15-5 mark in conference play last year.
2011 Northeast Conference Softball Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Long Island (9)
2. Monmouth (2)
3. Robert Morris
5. Sacred Heart
6. Central Connecticut State
8. Mount St. Mary's
Saint Francis (Pa.)
What's Ahead For The Bobcats
Quinnipiac will host Connecticut for its first home game of the 2011 season on Thursday, March 24 at 3:30 p.m. The Bobcats will then play doubleheaders against Harvard on Saturday, March 26, and Manhattan on Sunday, March 27. The contests will be held at the Quinnipiac Softball Field in Hamden, Conn.