April 10, 2011

Softball Splits Doubleheader With Wagner

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - The Quinnipiac University softball team (20-16, 4-2 NEC) split a Northeast Conference doubleheader at Wagner College (3-21, 1-7 NEC) on Saturday, April 9. In the first match-up, the Bobcats lost, 4-3, in a game that lasted 15 innings. Quinnipiac beat the Seahawks, 11-1, in six innings in the second contest of the day.

The Bobcats' Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) and Mina Duffy (Piedmont, Calif.) each went 4-for-9, while Paolucci scored four runs and picked up a RBI. Duffy also scored two runs for the Bobcats. Sophomore Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.) went 4-for-10 and scored three runs on the day, while senior Kim Brzezinski went 3-for-6, drove in two runs and scored a run in the NEC doubleheader.

In the first outing, the Bobcats took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second. Paolucci led off with her seventh home run of the season, to center field. Later in the inning, junior Quinnipiac pitcher Duffy singled up the middle and advanced to third on a Kim Brzezinski (Tinley Park, Ill.) single to right center. Duffy went on to score the second run of the inning when outfielder Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.) reached on a Wagner error.

Wagner narrowed the gap by one run, 2-1, in the fifth inning as Laura Hennig scored. The Seahawks came back and tied the Bobcats in the sixth when Amanda Garcia doubled to center field, driving in Rauscher. Neither Quinnipiac nor Wagner could score in the seventh and the game was forced into extra innings.

In the top of the 10th, Quinnipiac's Salgado was placed on second and advanced to third on a Christy Cabrera (Reno, Nev.) sacrifice bunt. Salgado then scored when second baseman Jacqueline Ristow (Seal Beach, Calif.) reached on an error by the Seahawks. Wagner answered with a run in the bottom of the 10th when Brittany Huss scored on a wild pitch.

Both teams continued to battle, but it would be Wagner's Hennig who would score the game-winning run in the bottom of the 15th inning to take the 4-3 victory over the Bobcats. Quinnipiac's Heather Schwartzburg took the loss after entering the game in the seventh. Schwartzburg struck out 17 batters across 7.2 innings. Mina Duffy pitched 4.2 innings, striking out five batters, while Katie Alfiere (Beacon Falls, Conn.) pitched 1.2 innings.

In the second game of the NEC twinbill, Quinnipiac scored three runs in the top of the first. Quinnipiac's Alex Murray (Milford, Mass.) was walked and advanced to second on an Alba single up the middle. Both advanced as Paolucci singled. Each Bobcat advanced and Murray scored an unearned run when Wagner's centerfielder made an error. Brzezinski walked, followed by a Figmic single down the left-field line, driving in Alba. Senior Joelle Jacobsen (Flemington, N.J.) drove in Paolucci for the last run of the inning as she was walked.

The Bobcats increased their lead by six runs, 6-0, as the team scored another three runs in the second inning. Alba drove in Murray, who reached on a fielder's choice, as she doubled to left field. Duffy then singled to left field, advancing Alba to third. Both players advanced and Alba scored on a passed ball. After, Brzezinski doubled down the left field line, driving in Duffy for the sixth Quinnipiac run of the game.

After Jacobsen popped up to Wagner's shortstop, to lead off the third inning, Salgado reached on an error by Wagner's third baseman and advanced as she stole second. Salgado went on to score Quinnipiac's seventh run when Cabrera reached on a Seahawks error. The scoreboard read, 8-0, after the fourth inning when the Bobcats' Paolucci singled to right field and eventually scored as Julie Sini was called out at first base.

In the bottom of the fifth, Wagner scored their only run of the game by freshman Ashley Rollins. Quinnipiac came back and added three runs in the sixth inning. Alba led off with a double to left field and advanced to third after Paolucci reached on an error and on a Sini sacrifice bunt. Alba scored the next run when Brzezinski singled through the left side. Brzezinski then stole second and Paolucci stole home. Figmic doubled to left field driving in Brzezinski for the Bobcats' final run of the game.

Quinnipiac's Alfiere earned her third win of the year as she pitched six innings. Alfiere struck out three batters and only allowed three hits and one run.

Quinnipiac returns to action when it plays the Bryant Bulldogs on Sunday, April 10 at noon at the Bryant Softball Complex in Smithfield, R.I.