Softball Faces Manhattan, Fairfield In Non-League Action

Junior Jacquie Ristow

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Live Stats at Fairfield
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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (22-12, 9-5 NEC) at
Manhattan College Jaspers (4-25, 0-4 MAAC)
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 – 2 p.m. (Doubleheader)
Gaelic Park – Riverdale, N.Y.

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (22-19, 9-5 NEC) at
Fairfield University Stags (21-22, 4-4 MAAC)
Thursday, April 19, 2012 – 3:30 p.m.
Alumni Softball Field – Fairfield, Conn.

Bobcats Play Weekday Games On The Road
The Quinnipiac University softball team (22-12, 9-5 NEC) will travel to play non-conference games at Manhattan College (4-25, 0-4 MAAC) and Fairfield University (21-22, 4-4 MAAC) this week. First, the Bobcats will take on Manhattan in a rescheduled doubleheader on Wednesday, April 18 starting at 2 p.m. QU will then face Fairfield at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 19.

Multimedia                   
Live stats will be available by clicking on the appropriate links on the Quinnipiac softball schedule on the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.

Scouting Manhattan
Manhattan enters Wednesday’s contests at 4-25 on the year and 0-4 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). The Jaspers have only played two games at home this season, posting a 1-1 mark at Gaelic Park. In its most recent games, Manhattan split a pair of games at Hartford on Sunday, April 15. The Jaspers’ 5-1 win over Hartford was their third win in the month of April after only posting one victory earlier in the year. Currently, the team is led by Kate Bowen’s .329 batting average (28-for-85). Bowen also ranks first for the Jaspers in slugging percentage (.471) and on-base percentage (.408) while leading the team with 40 total bases, 12 RBI and 15 runs scored. Bowen has won two games within the circle, posting a 3.97 ERA.

All-Time Against The Jaspers
Quinnipiac holds an all-time Division I record of 7-4 with Manhattan, dating back to the 2000 season. The Bobcats swept the Jaspers in a doubleheader last year at the QU Softball Field on March 27, posting 5-2 and 10-9 victories. Quinnipiac is undefeated against Manhattan at home, 4-0, and is 2-2 at Manhattan and 1-2 in neutral locations.

The Facts On Fairfield
Fairfield currently stands at 21-22 overall and 4-4 in MAAC action. Most recently, the Stags split with Niagara in a two-game series on Monday, April 16. Fairfield outlasted Niagara, 6-5, in 10 innings of play, but went on to lose, 2-1, in game two. The Stags are led by Alli Wigand and Kristen Filicia, who both post batting average just above the .300 mark. Wigand and Rae Ball have each compiled a team-high 25 RBI while Filicia has contributed a team-leading 41 hits and 28 runs scored this season. Filicia is also 21-for-26 in stolen bases in 43 starts. Rebecca Trott has won 12 contests from within the circle while recording a 2.59 ERA and 105 strikeouts. Ball has also earned nine wins with a 3.64 ERA.

All-Time Against The Stags
The Bobcats hold a 9-5 mark in the all-time Division I series with Fairfield, dating back to 2003. The Bobcats are 6-1 in neutral locations, 0-3 on the road, and 3-1 at the QU Softball Field. Quinnipiac won, 2-0, in their last match-up with Fairfield on April 4, 2012.

Last Time Out Against Fairfield
The Bobcats have already seen the Stags once this season when Quinnipiac earned a 2-0 shutout against Fairfield on April 4. QU’s Katie Alfiere and Heather Schwartzburg both represented the Bobcats from within the circle, but it was Alfiere who would take the win after holding the Stags scoreless over 4 1/3 innings while scattering two hits. The Bobcats’ runs were scored in the bottom of the second by freshman Nikki Barba and junior Bridget Figmic. Figmic and Ristow each earned a RBI in the contest.

Last Time Out
In their most recent outings, the Bobcats swept Fairleigh Dickinson in a pair of Northeast Conference games on the road on Sunday, April 15. Quinnipiac won, 3-1, in game one and recorded a 5-1 victory in the second match-up. QU was led by senior Heather Schwartzburg as she pitched two complete games, improving her 2012 record to 14-4. Schwartzburg scattered six hits and allowed two earned runs as she walked five batters and struck out 12 in 14 innings. Senior Christy Cabrera and junior Alex Alba each went 3-for-7. Cabrera and junior Lauren Salgado both scored two runs while junior Jacquie Ristow compiled a team-leading three RBI against FDU. Overall, the Bobcats outhit the Knights, 16-to-6, and collected 22 total bases compared to Fairleigh Dickinson’s seven in the two-game set.

What Happened Against Wagner
Quinnipiac split a NEC twinbill with Wagner on Saturday, April 14 at home. After dropping the first contest, 5-4, in nine innings, the Bobcats came back to win 9-2 in game two. Heather Schwartzburg took the loss in the first outing, while sophomore Katie Alfiere earned her sixth win of the year against the Seahawks. Senior catcher Ashley Heiberger and QU shortstop Alex Alba each homered in the doubleheader while Heiberger and Kesses each compiled three RBI. Four different Bobcats scored two runs against Wagner.

Big Win Over Big East Opponent
Senior pitcher Heather Schwartzburg earned another win for the Bobcats as she led Quinnipiac to a 5-4 win over Big East foe UConn on Wednesday, April 11. The Bobcats rallied for the come-from-behind win despite a two-run deficit late in the contest. In the bottom of the sixth, junior Alex Alba hit a two-run double that tied the game up, 4-4, and went on to score the game-winner in the inning. The victory stood as the Bobcats’ fifth home-win of the 2012 season and second non-league win to be played at the QU Softball Field this year.

Strikeout Sensation
Senior Heather Schwartzburg currently leads the Bobcats with 146 strikeouts on the year and is closing down on 1,000 career strikeouts as she’s recorded 903 strikeouts in the past four seasons with QU. Schwartzburg ranks in the top-five amongst NEC opponents in several pitching categories such as ERA (1.58), opposing batting average (.170), innings pitched (132.2), wins (14) and batters struck out (146). The starting pitcher also stands ninth in the NCAA rankings in hits allowed per seven innings (4.11) and 51st in strikeouts per seven innings (7.7).

Dangerous Defense
Quinnipiac continues to play near-perfect defense as it ranks 35th in the NCAA standings in fielding percentage (0.97), which paces its NEC opponents.

Notes On The National Standings
The Bobcats continue to climb in the NCAA Softball RPI Rankings. Quinnipiac now stands at 114th in the national rankings after moving ahead from 121st to 119th last week.  The Bobcats continue to stay in front of all NEC schools in the standings.

Leading Lady
Junior Alex Alba ranks first for Quinnipiac and fourth in the league in slugging percentage (.608) Alba’s slugging percentage also stands 162nd amongst her NCAA counterparts. Alba’s team-leading 12 doubles rank second in the conference while her 0.36 doubles per game are eighth in the country.

What’s Ahead For The Bobcats
Quinnipiac returns to action with two NEC doubleheaders at the QU Softball Field this weekend. The Bobcats will host Robert Morris on Saturday, April 21 starting at 1 p.m., followed by a pair of league games against Saint Francis (Pa.) on Sunday, April 22 beginning at Noon.

Contact: Lindsay Oliveri, lmoliveri@quinnipiac.edu