Softball Sweeps Bryant In NEC Doubleheader

SMITHFIELD, R.I. - The Quinnipiac University softball team (22-16, 6-2 NEC) swept Bryant University (17-14, 7-3 NEC) in a Northeast Conference doubleheader at the Bryant Softball Complex on Sunday, April 10. The Bobcats defeated the Bulldogs, 4-2 and 6-3.

The Bobcats were led by junior pitcher Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.), who improved her record to 14-7 as she pitched a complete game and another 2.1 innings in the second contest. Schwartzburg struck out 11 batters and only allowed four hits across 9.1 innings. Junior Mina Duffy (Piedmont, Calif.) started and pitched three innings in game two. Duffy struck out six batters, while freshman Katie Alfiere (Beacon Falls, Conn.) also made an appearance in the second game, pitching 2.1 innings.

Overall, Quinnipiac second baseman Jacqueline Ristow (Seal Beach, Calif.) went 3-for-7, scored one run and picked up three RBI against the Bulldogs. Freshman Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) went 3-for-6, scored two runs and drove in a RBI, while junior Christy Cabrera (Reno, Nev.) and Duffy each went 2-for-6. In addition, Cabrera scored three runs and drove in two runs on the day.

Quinnipiac took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning in game one. After Cabrera grounded out to Bryant's pitcher, Ristow, shortstop Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.), and Paolucci each singled to load the bases. Then, each player advanced and Ristow scored the game's first run on an illegal pitch. In the bottom of the first, Bryant's Lauren Guy led off with a home run to tie the game at 1-1.

In the top of the third, Quinnipiac added a run to hold a 2-1 advantage. The Bobcats' Cabrera led off with a single to center field and advanced to third on Ristow and Alba sacrifice bunts. Cabrera went on to score the team's second run on another Bryant illegal pitch.

The Bobcats took a 4-2 lead over the Bulldogs when the team scored two runs on one hit in the fourth. With two outs on the inning, sophomore Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.) reached first and advanced to second base on a Bryant error. After Cabrera walked, Quinnipiac's Ristow hit a double to drive in Cabrera and Salgado for two unearned runs.

The Bulldogs narrowed the gap, 4-2, as Lindsay Martin hit Bryant's second homer of the game, in the bottom of the fifth inning.

In game two, Bryant scored the first run in the bottom of the first inning when Bowen crossed home plate on a wild pitch.

In the top of the fourth, the Bobcats came back and scored two runs to take the lead, 2-1. After Quinnipiac's Paolucci led off with a double, both Kim Brzezinski (Tinley Park, Ill.) and Jessica Amenda (Milford, Conn.) each reached on a fielder's choice, advancing Paolucci to third base. Third baseman Bridget Figmic then singled to center field, driving in Paolucci. After, Cabrera singled, driving in Amenda, for the Bobcats' second run. Bryant answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth as senior pitcher Samantha Houseal scored on an illegal pitch to tie the game, 2-2.

In the fifth inning, both teams each scored one run. Quinnipiac freshman Paolucci hit her eighth career homerun in the bottom of the fifth, while Kristen Carter scored the run for Bryant. In the top of the sixth, the Bobcats' added three runs to take a 6-4 lead. Brzezinski led off with her first home run of the season, followed by Heiberger who hit a double and advanced to third on a Figmic sacrifice bunt. Cabrera then reached on a Bryant error, allowing Heiberger to score an unearned run. After, Ristow singled to center field, driving in Cabrera from second base, for the Bobcats' final run.

Quinnipiac returns to action when it plays Fairfield on Wednesday, April 13 at 3:30 p.m. at the Quinnipiac Softball Field in Hamden, Conn. The Bobcats will then host back-to-back NEC doubleheaders against Long Island and Central Connecticut State on Saturday April 16 and Sunday, April 17, respectively.