Softball Splits Pair Of NEC Games With Sacred Heart

FAIRFIELD Conn. - The Quinnipiac University softball team split a Northeast Conference doubleheader at Sacred Heart on Friday, April 22. The Bobcats shut out the Pioneers, 2-0, in game one and lost, 8-0, in a five inning match-up later in the day. Quinnipiac is now 25-20 on the year and at 9-5 in conference play, while Sacred Heart is 23-19 overall and at 10-6 in the NEC.

In game one, the Bobcats were led by junior pitcher Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.), who pitched a complete game to improve her 2011 record to 17-9. The right-handed hurler struck out seven batters and only allowed three hits in the shutout. Quinnipiac second baseman Jacqueline Ristow (Seal Beach, Calif.) went 1-for-3 with a run scored, while sophomore outfielder Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.) went 2-for-3 and picked up a RBI. In addition, third baseman Bridget Figmic (Stratford, Conn.) contributed one hit and drove in a run for the Bobcats.

Quinnipiac scored its first run in the top of the fifth. With one out on the inning, senior Julie Sini (Elgin, Texas) entered the game to pinch run for junior Mina Duffy (Piedmont, Calif.), who was walked. Catcher Ashley Heiberger (Sioux Falls, S.D.) then reached on a fielding error by Sacred heart's right fielder, which allowed Sini to advance to second base. After Sini advanced to third on a Kortney Kesses (Woodbridge, Conn.) sacrifice bunt, she scored an unearned run as Salgado singled to the shortstop.

In the top of the sixth, the Bobcats added a run to take a 2-0 lead over the Pioneers. With one out on the scoreboard, the Bobcats' Ristow and freshman Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) each singled to get on base. Figmic then singled to center field, driving in Ristow from second, for the final run of the game.

In the second outing of the day, Sacred Heart took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning. The Pioneers' leadoff batter Taylor Froelich was walked and advanced to second on a Jade Bowins' sacrifice bunt. Froelich then scored the first run of the game as Courtney Lee singled to right field. After, Liz Tsipouras was walked, allowing Lee to move ahead to second base. Tsipouras and Lee each advanced on a wild pitch and came around to score when freshman Annie Dreher doubled.

Sacred Heart added another run in the bottom of the fourth, increasing its lead to 4-0. Dreher led off with a double to third base. With one out on the inning, Dreher scored on an Erin McAndrews ground out to second base.

The Pioneers held an 8-0 advantage after they scored four runs on three hits in the fifth inning. Froelich, Bowins, Tsipouras and Dreher each scored a run for Sacred Heart to end the game after five innings of play.

Duffy took the loss for Quinnipiac as she pitched 4.1 innings. Freshman pitcher Katie Alfiere (Beacon Falls, Conn.) entered the contest in the bottom of the fifth and faced four Sacred Heart batters. Bobcats' sophomore Ristow earned the Bobcats only hit of game two.

The Bobcats return to action when they host NEC opponent Fairleigh Dickinson in a pair of games on Saturday, April 23 beginning at Noon. Quinnipiac will recognize the three seniors on the softball team prior to the start of Saturday's doubleheader at the Quinnipiac Softball Field in Hamden, Conn.