University (24-19, 8-4 - NEC) at
Sacred Heart University (22-18, 9-5 - NEC)
Friday, April 22, 2011 - 1:00 p.m. (DH)
Pioneer Park Softball Field - Fairfield, Conn.
Quinnipiac University (24-19, 8 -4 NEC) vs.
Fairleigh Dickinson University (22-17, 6-8 NEC)
Saturday, April 23, 2011 - 12:00 p.m. (DH)
Quinnipiac Softball Field - Hamden, Conn.
Quinnipiac Plays Back-To-Back NEC Doubleheaders
The Quinnipiac University softball team (24-19, 8-4 NEC) plays back-to-back Northeast Conference doubleheaders against Sacred Heart (22-18, 9-5 NEC) and Fairleigh Dickinson (22-17, 6-8) this weekend. The Bobcats travel to play a pair of games at Sacred Heart on Friday, April 22 starting at 1:00 p.m. Quinnipiac will then host Fairleigh Dickinson in a twinbill on Saturday, April 23 beginning at Noon. Quinnipiac will honor the softball seniors prior to the start of Saturday's doubleheader.
Prior to the start of Saturday's doubleheader against Fairleigh Dickinson, Quinnipiac will recognize the seniors on the softball team, including three four-year student-athletes, captain Joelle Jacobsen, Kim Brzezinski and Julie Sini. The three seniors have combined to play in 348 games and tallied 121 hits, 71 runs scored and 52 RBI over the past four years.
Follow Your Bobcats Live
Live stats and audio for this weekend's games will be available by clicking on the appropriate links on the official website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.
Scouting Sacred Heart
Sacred Heart enters Friday's doubleheader at 22-18 on the year and with a 9-5 mark in conference play. The Pioneers shut out Fairfield, 5-0, in their most recent outing on April 20. Prior to the win, Sacred Heart split back-to-back NEC doubleheaders against Robert Morris and Saint Francis (Pa.). The Pioneers are led by Liz Tsipouras and Courtney Lee, who have each contributed seven home runs and 52 hits this season. Tsipouras leads the team with a .423 batting average and 37 RBI, while Taylor Froelich has scored a team-high 35 runs. Senior pitcher Jen Russell has won 12 games for Sacred Heart this year, while Nicole Sidor has won eight contests in her sophomore season. Both hurlers have compiled over 100 strike outs, while Sidor leads the Pioneers with 10.69 strikeouts per game. Russell posts a team-high 2.19 ERA.
All-Time Against The Pioneers
Quinnipiac leads the all-time series with Sacred Heart, 15-9, since 1999. The Bobcats swept the Pioneers, 6-2 and 5-4, in last season's doubleheader at the Quinnipiac Softball Field.
Scouting Fairleigh Dickinson
Prior to Saturday's doubleheader against the Bobcats, the Knights will play Fordham in a pair of games on Thursday, April 21. In its most recent outings, Fairleigh Dickinson split two games with non-conference opponent Manhattan. The Knights lost, 5-1, in game one and came back to win, 8-4, in the second contest. Knights' sophomore pitcher Maire Shaughnessy improved her 2011 record to 8-6 with the win after pitching seven innings. Shaughnessy has appeared in 101 innings and leads the Knights with a 2.01 ERA, while junior Caitlin Bradac has compiled a team-high 87 strikeouts and a 10-4 record this year. Bradac also leads Fairleigh Dickinson with a .359 batting average, 42 hits and 28 RBI. Bradac and freshman infielder Berkleigh Massey have each scored 20 runs.
All-Time Against The Knights
Saturday marks the 20th meeting between Quinnipiac and Fairleigh Dickinson. The Bobcats lead the all-time series, 17-2, with its only losses in the 2009 and 2005 seasons. Last year, Quinnipiac swept the Knights, 7-4 and 3-1, in a pair of contests at Fairleigh Dickinson.
Last Time Out
In its most recent outing, Quinnipiac fell short to Hartford, 1-0, in a non-conference match-up on Wednesday, April 20. Junior pitcher Mina Duffy took the loss as she pitched her second complete game of the year and struck out nine batters. Bobcats' outfielder Lauren Salgado led the team as she went 2-for-3 and earned her 15th stolen base of the season.
On Sunday, April 17, Quinnipiac improved to 8-4 and to second place in the Northeast Conference standings, after sweeping Central Connecticut State, 5-0 and 8-3, in a conference doubleheader at home. Junior pitcher Heather Schwartzburg led the Bobcats as she picked up both wins against the Blue Devils. Junior outfielder Christy Cabrera went 4-for-6 with three runs and two RBI on the day, while sophomore shortstop Alex Alba went 4-for-8 with one run scored and a team-high four RBI. Kim Brzezinski and Lauren Salgado each went 3-for-6, while Salgado also scored three runs and drove in a run for the Bobcats. In addition, Alba and freshman Jordan Paolucci each hit a home run against CCSU. Overall, the Bobcats outhit the Blue Devils, 21-13. Prior to their wins over Central Connecticut, the Bobcats dropped a pair of games to Long Island, 1-0 and 11-6, on April 16.
In game two of the doubleheader with Central Connecticut State, the Bobcats were down 3-1 after two innings of play. Quinnipiac came back and tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth as Jordan Paolucci hit a two-run homer with two outs on the inning. The Bobcats added five runs on four hits and two errors in the bottom of the sixth to secure the 8-3 victory over the Blue Devils.
Hitters Heating Up
Shortstop Alex Alba has contributed at least one hit in each of the Bobcats' last 10 games. Junior Christy Cabrera's hitting streak goes back eight contests, while Lauren Salgado has made contact at the plate in the past six outings.
The Salgado Situation
Sophomore Lauren Salgado currently leads Quinnipiac with 15 stolen bases. Salgado has been successful on 15-of-16 steal attempts in 2011. The outfielder only needs one more stolen base to match the 16 stolen bases she connected on in her freshman year.
Alex Alba hit her second home run of her sophomore season in Quinnipiac's 5-0 shutout against CCSU. The shortstop gave the Bobcats an early 3-0 lead when she hit a three-run homer in the top of the first inning. Alba currently leads Quinnipiac with a .328 batting average and has compiled 40 hits, 17 runs and 17 RBI on the year.
Schwartzburg In The Spotlight
Junior Heather Schwartzburg won her fourth Akadema/NEC Pitcher of the week title on April 18, after appearing in each of the Bobcats' four games over the weekend. The right-handed hurler pitched two complete games, one against Long Island and another in a 5-0 shutout versus CCSU. Overall, she pitched a total of 20 innings and picked up two conference wins to improve her 2011 record to 16-9. Schwartzburg recorded a 1.40 ERA, struck out 23 batters and held opponents to a .187 batting average.
Stats From The Circle
In addition to picking up four NEC weekly accolades this season, Heather Schwartzburg was recently named Quinnipiac's Female March Athlete of the Month for March. Schwartzburg has made 28 appearances and 20 starts for the Bobcats this year, recording a 1.46 ERA. The junior leads Quinnipiac with 210 strikeouts, across162.2 innings and has held opponents to a .177 batting average.
Freshman Jordan Paolucci leads the Bobcats with 24 RBI and 10 home runs in her freshman season. In each of Quinnipiac's six NEC doubleheaders this year, Paolucci has connected on at least one home run. The freshman has contributed 34 hits and a team-high 29 runs scored this season.
Quinnipiac catcher Ashley Heiberger and senior captain Joelle Jacobsen have combined for almost 500 putouts on the year. Heiberger posts 248 putouts, while Jacobsen has contributed 233 in her final season with the Bobcats.
What's Next For Quinnipiac
The Bobcats return to action when they play a pair of games at Stony Brook on Wednesday, April 27 starting at 3:00 p.m. The non-conference doubleheader will be held at University Field in Stony Brook, N.Y. Quinnipiac will then play its final NEC contests of the year when it travels to Robert Morris and Saint Francis (PA) on April 30 and May 1, respectively.