Softball Opens NEC Play Against Mount St. Mary's, Monmouth This Weekend

Quinnipiac University (16-13, 0-0 NEC) vs.
Mount St. Mary's University (8-4, 0-0 NEC)
Saturday, April 2, 2011 - 1:00 p.m. (DH)
Quinnipiac Softball Field - Hamden, Conn.

Quinnipiac University (16-13, 0-0 NEC) vs.
Monmouth University (11-10, 2-0 NEC)
Sunday, April 3, 2011 - 12:00 p.m. (DH)
Quinnipiac Softball Field - Hamden, Conn.

Bobcats Begin NEC Play At Home
The Quinnipiac University softball team (16-13, 0-0 NEC) begins Northeast Conference play this weekend when it hosts Mount St. Mary's (8-14, 0-0 NEC) and Monmouth (11-10, 2-0 NEC) at the Quinnipiac Softball Field. The Bobcats will play doubleheaders against the Mount on Saturday, April 2 and the Hawks on Sunday, April 3. Saturday's games will begin at 1:00 p.m., while Sunday's doubleheader is scheduled to start at noon. Quinnipiac enters the weekend after defeating Connecticut, 7-3, in its most recent outing on Thursday, March 31.

Follow Your Bobcats Live
Live stats for this weekend's games will be available by clicking on the appropriate links on the official website of Quinnipiac Athletics, Live audio can also be heard for Sunday's game against Monmouth.

Scouting Mount St. Mary's
Mount St. Mary's enters the weekend with an 8-14 mark on the year. The Mount is led by seniors Beth Everist and Courtney Zingle who both post a .328 batting average, with 22 hits on the year. Everist, also a pitcher for the Mount, has earned a team-high .522 slugging percentage and leads the team in RBI (17) and with seven doubles and two homeruns. Junior utility player Taylor Beebe leads the Mountaineers with 14 runs scored this season. Nicole Pagano has recorded a 5-8 record on the year and a 2.64 ERA. The right-handed sophomore has struck out 69 batters across 13 games for the Mount, while holding opponents to a .248 batting average.

Last Year Against The Mount
Last year, The Bobcats split a doubleheader against Mount St. Mary's on April 18. Quinnipiac dropped the first game of the doubleheader, 7-3, and posted a 5-6 victory in game two. Heather Schwartzburg broke the Quinnipiac University softball season-strikeout record as she fanned eight batters against the Mount to increase her season total to 214 strikeouts.

Scouting Monmouth
Monmouth will play NEC opponent Sacred Heart in a doubleheader, prior to playing the Bobcats on Sunday. The Hawks enter the weekend at 11-10 on the year and at 2-0 in conference play. Last weekend, Monmouth opened NEC play at home with two wins against Robert Morris. The Hawks swept the Colonials with a pair of victories, 1-0 and 4-2, on Saturday, March 26. Sophomore Kate Kuzma leads Monmouth in hits (22) and RBI (18), while freshman outfielder Shannon Fitzgerald has scored a team-high 12 runs this season. Kuzma has also hit six homeruns on the year. Junior Lauren Sulick has appeared in 18 games for the Hawks, picking up a 10-6 record. The right-handed pitcher has pitched 105 innings, struck out 59 batters and held opponents to a .236 batting average in 105 innings.

Last Year Against the Hawks
Last season, Quinnipiac swept Monmouth in a NEC doubleheader in West Long Branch, N.J. The Bobcats collected a 14-11 victory in game one and won in extra innings, 4-3, in the second game on April 17. Later in the year, the Bobcats dropped a NEC Tournament game to the Hawks. Quinnipiac lost, 6-0, against Monmouth in the first round of the 2010 NEC Softball Tournament on May 12.

Last Time Out
The Bobcats defeated the Connecticut Huskies, 7-3, in its most recent outing on Thursday, March 31. Six different Bobcats scored runs against the Huskies, while seven batters contributed at least one hit in the contest. Lauren Salgado and Bridget Figmic each went 2-4 and drove in one run, while Salgado scored two runs and Figmic scored one run for the Bobcats. Juniors Christy Cabrera and Jacqueline Ristow each contributed two hits.

Schwartzburg Stats
Heather Schwartzburg picked up the win against Connecticut on Thursday, as she struck out six batters, allowed one run and one unearned run across six innings. Schwartzburg currently leads the Bobcats with a 1.69 ERA and a 9-6 overall record. The right-handed junior has appeared in 18 games for Quinnipiac and pitched in 107.2 innings. She's earned 143 strikeouts and held opponents to a .198 batting average.

Leading Ladies
Jacqueline Ristow leads the Bobcats with a .309 batting average. The junior infielder has contributed a team-high 29 hits this season, while classmate Christy Cabrera has driven in 15 Quinnipiac runs. Freshman Jordan Paolucci has recorded a .262 batting average, while contributing 17 hits, 17 runs scored, and 13 RBI. In 28 games, Paolucci has hit a team-high four homeruns and picked up a .492 slugging percentage and a .461 on base percentage.

Double Trouble
Quinnipiac third baseman Bridget Figmic leads the Bobcats with six doubles on the year. The sophomore has also contributed 19 hits, 11 runs scored and 13 RBI across 27 contests.

Last weekend, the Bobcats went 2-2 in its first home games of the 2011 season. On Saturday, March 26, Quinnipiac dropped two games to Harvard University, 8-0 and 7-4. The Bobcats came back to sweep Manhattan in a doubleheader on Sunday, March 27. Quinnipiac won, 5-2, in game one and collected a 10-9 victory over the Jaspers in the second outing of the day.

Power At The Plate
Freshman Jordan Paolucci led Quinnipiac last weekend as she went 5-7 with two three-run homers. In the last five games, Paolucci has averaged .500 from behind the plate with five hits, five runs scored and six RBI.

O Captain, My Captain
Senior first baseman Joelle Jacobsen hit her second-career homerun as the Bobcats defeated Manhattan, 10-9, last Sunday. The two-run homer was Jacobsen's first homerun of the season. She's contributed 12 hits, scored 10 runs and picked up nine RBI, overall.

Catching Fire
Junior catcher Ashley Heiberger hit her first homerun of 2011 as she drove in two runs for Quinnipiac in its 5-2 win over the Jaspers. Heiberger has tallied 16 hits and 12 runs, while driving in five RBI on the year.

What's Next For Quinnipiac
Quinnipiac returns to action when it plays Fairfield on Thursday, April 7 at 3:30 p.m. at the Alumni Softball Field in Fairfield, Conn.