EMMITSBURG, Md. – The Quinnipiac University softball team split its first Northeast Conference doubleheader of the year at Mount St. Mary's on Friday afternoon. In the first outing of the day, the Bobcats fell short, 1-0, in eight innings, but came back and won 2-0 in game two. After playing its first league games of the 2012 season, QU becomes 12-7 overall and 1-1 in NEC action, while the Mountaineers become 7-18 on the year and 1-1 in the conference.
In game one, Quinnipiac senior pitcher Christy Cabrera (West Sacramento, Calif.) took the loss after pitching 7.1 innings. Cabrera allowed only one hit in the contest and struck out six Mount St. Mary's batters. She drops to 1-4 on the year, while the Mount's Nicole Pagano earned the win after pitching eight innings, also allowing one hit.
After seven innings of scoreless play, the Bobcats attempted to take the lead, but Pagano kept the Mountaineers alive as she retired three straight QU batters in the top of the eighth. The Mount's Alyssa Silipino led off the inning with a double to left center. After Kendra Hayward entered the game to pinch run for Silipino, she advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Alexa Tuck. With one out in the bottom of the eighth, Bre Lohman reached on a fielder's choice which allowed Haward to cross home plate for the game-winner.
The Bobcats' first baseman Jacquie Ristow (Seal Beach, Calif.) contributed the team's only hit of the game.
In the second contest, Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) led QU from within the circle as she pitched a complete game, compiling 12 strikeouts and only allowing three hits. Schwartzburg improves to 8-1 in her senior campaign, while Pagano drops to 6-5 after pitching four innings for the Mount. Mount St. Mary's Danni Cummins saw three innings and let up an earned run.
Cabrera went 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Ristow and Mina Duffy (Piedmont, Calif.) each chipped in a hit for the Bobcats.
The scoreboard read 0-0 as Quinnipiac entered the top of the fourth. After Duffy led off the inning with a single down the left-field line, Barba walked, advancing Duffy to second base. With one out and two runners on base, senior Ashley Heiberger (Sioux Falls, S.D.) reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases. Senior Bridget Figmic also reached on a fielder's choice, allowing Duffy to score from third. QU ended the inning with two runners left on base.
Cabrera started the next inning with a single to third base. She advanced to second as Ristow grounded out to third base and scored on a wild pitch to give Quinnipiac the 2-0 advantage.
The Bobcats return to action when they compete in a NEC twinbill at Monmouth University on Sunday, March 25. The first game is scheduled for a 12 p.m. start at the MU Softball Park in West Long Branch, N.J.
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