MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – The #2 seeded Quinnipiac University softball team dropped its opening game of the 2012 Northeast Conference Tournament on Thursday afternoon, as the Bobcats were defeated by #3 LIU Brooklyn, 5-0, at Robert Morris University in Moon Township, Pa. QU will resume the four-team playoff tomorrow afternoon against the losing team of the #1 Robert Morris/#4 Monmouth game this afternoon. Tomorrow's elimination game is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
With the loss, the Bobcats fall to 30-17 on the season. The Blackbirds improve to 23-33 overall and will face the winner of the #1 Robert Morris/#4 Monmouth game tomorrow morning at 10 a.m.
Through the first five innings of play, the game featured an absolute pitchers dual between QU's Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and LIU's Cassie Vondrak. Neither team managed to push a runner past second base and combined for a total of seven hits.
However, in the top of the sixth innings, the Blackbirds' bats came to life. A base-hit and a miscue in the field left runners on first and second for LIU's Emily Kakuska. The junior first baseman stepped to the plate and launched a go-ahead homerun over the left field fence for a 3-0 lead.
Quinnipiac looked to answer in the bottom of the frame, but stellar defense disallowed the Bobcats to spark a rally. The Blackbirds received two spectacular plays on balls hit to right field and to then to third base, ending any threat in the stanza.
In the top of the seventh, LIU added two insurance runs with a two-run single off the bat of Sterling Hoham. Ashley Heiberger (Sioux Falls, S.D.) attempted to ignite a rally with a single in the home-half, but the Bobcats were unable to string hits together.
Schwartzburg went the distance, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits in her sixth loss of the campaign. She fanned eight Blackbird batters and tossed 60 percent of her pitches for strikes.
Schwartzburg's counterpart, Vondrak, allowed just five hits in seven innings of work. She struck out three in a the complete-game shutout.
For more information regarding the Quinnipiac University softball program, please visit www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.
Contact: Tony Distasio; firstname.lastname@example.org