Quinnipiac Softball Sweeps Manhattan, 5-2 and 10-9 In Eight Innings

Photos of QU vs. Manhattan

HAMDEN, Conn. - Quinnipiac Freshman Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) was 4-for-7 with two home runs and six runs batted in as the Bobcats swept a non-conference doubleheader, 5-2 and 10-9 in eight innings, against Manhattan College on Sunday, March 27 at the Quinnipiac Softball Field in Hamden, Conn. Quinnipiac improves to 15-13 overall while Manhattan goes to 8-13 on the year.

Paolucci was 2-for-2 with a three-run home run in the first game and 2-for-3 with a three-run homer in the second as well. IN the second game, Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.), Alex Murray (Milford, Mass.) and Joelle Jacobsen (Flemington, N.J.) all had two hits, while Jacobsen also homered. Murray scored the game-winning run, on a single by Christy Cabrera (Reno, Nev.), in the eighth inning of the second game.

In the first game, Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif. ) improved to 8-4 for the year after holding Manhattan to two runs on seven hits over seven innings. Emily O'Keefe (Southington, Conn.) picked up the win in the second game, to improve to 3-5, after pitching a perfect top of the eighth.

Schwartzburg struck out 11 batters on the afternoon while holding the Jaspers scoreless over the first five innings of play. 10 of the first 12 outs of the game came on strikeouts.

Quinnipiac scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning, all with two outs, and never looked back. After Murray reached on an error by Manhattan's first baseman, and was sacrificed over to second by Cabrera, she moved to third on Jacqueline Ristow's (Seal Beach, Calif.) ground ball through the right side of the infield. Ristow was thrown out at first base from right for the second out of the inning. Alba then drove Murray in with a single through the left side of the infield. Mina Duffy (Piedmont, Calif.) walked to put two runners on base before Paolucci blasted a two-strike, three-run homer deep over the right center wall to give Quinnipiac a 4-0 lead. The Bobcats tacked on another run in the bottom of the fourth inning when Ashley Heiberger (Sioux Falls, S.D.) lined the second pitch of her at-bat over the left field wall to give Quinnipiac a 5-0 lead.

Manhattan finally cracked into the scoring column in the top of the sixth when Melissa Donnelly hit a two-run homer after Schwartzburg walked Jaci Rahey to start the inning.

In the second game, Quinnipiac was quick to jump out front when they posted three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Ristow walked with one out in the inning before Alba doubled to right center, moving Ristow to third. Paolucci then connected for her second three-run homer of the day, giving Quinnipiac a 3-0 lead.

In the second, Donnelly homered to put Manhattan on the board. She also drove in Monica Evangelista in the third inning to move the Jaspers within a run, 3-2.

In the third, Ristow led off the inning with a double to right center field. Alba followed with a single up the middle that moved Ristow to third. After Alba stole second, Paolucci was intentionally walked to load the bases for Bridget Figmic (Stratford, Conn.). Figmic's ground ball to short scored Ristow, while Alba was put-out at third. Kim Brzezinski (Tinley Park, Ill.) reached on an error and moved to third, allowing Figmic and Paolucci to score. After Murray ground out to the mound, Jessica Amenda (Milford, Conn.) reached on a fielding error by the first baseman that allowed Brzezinski to score from first base. Jacobsen then connected on a two-run homer over the scoreboard in center field to give Quinnipiac a 9-2 lead.

In the fifth, Manhattan posted a five-run inning to move within two runs of Quinnipiac, 9-7. Jen Keller drove in a pair of runs with a single up the middle while Kristina Walraven and Evangelista also drove in runs. The Jaspers tied the game in the seventh when Donnelly drove in two more runs, scoring Evangelista and Walraven, to force extra innings.

In the eighth, Murray led off the inning with a single to right field. Amenda then hit a ground ball up the line to third base. On the throw to first, the ball hit Amenda in the back, sending the ball down the right field line allowing Murray to advance to third. Julia Sini (Elgin, Tex.) then pinch ran for Amenda and promptly stole second base. After Jacobsen ground out to the mound, Cabrera drove a two-strike offering from Manhattan pitcher Erika Sullivan the opposite way to bring home Murray with the winning run.

Quinnipiac is back in action on Thursday, March 31 when it travels to Storrs, Conn. to take on the University of Connecticut in a non-conference doubleheader scheduled for a 3 p.m. start at the Burrill Family Field.