CLEARWATER, Fla. – Wednesday's match was quite an offensive showcase as the Quinnipiac softball team and UT-Chattanooga combined for 25 hits and 19 runs but the Bobcats finished ahead on the scoreboard, 11-8, from the Eddie C. Moore Complex. Quinnipiac totaled a season-high 14 hits as a team to go along with 11 runs which is their most in any game this season. Seven runs in the sixth, all with two outs, proved to be the different for the Bobcats in the victory. Winners of two of their last three games, Quinnipiac improves to 4-13 while the Mocs drop to 14-11 on the season.
Freshman outfielder Courtney Solt (Boyertown, Pa.) continues her torrid stretch of games as she chipped in her second straight three-hit outing including two RBI and two runs scored. The rookie has been scorching the ball of late as she now has a .600 batting average (9-for-15) with five runs scored in her last four games. Sophomore catcher Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) continued her hot hitting with her second home run in as many games as her two-run homer in the first was the 19th of her career, placing her in a tie for second place for most career home runs in program history alongside Sammi Allendorfer '07. The rest of the Bobcats chipped in as all nine batters for Quinnipiac tallied at least one hit on the afternoon. Three players including seniors Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.) and Bridget Figmic (Stratford, Conn.) and junior Nikki Barba (San Diego, Calif.) each had two-hit days while five players each had two RBI against the Mocs.
Junior Katie Alifere (Beacon Falls, Conn.) three four innings in relief to pick up her first victory of the season while freshman Sydney Robey (Glenmoore, Pa.) closed the door as she pitched a scoreless seventh to record her first career save.
Facing a hot team in UT-Chattanooga who came in winners of six of their last seven games, the Bobcats jumped out in front in the first with a three-run frame. Solt led off with a single up the middle and Barba later doubled to right center with two outs to score Solt from third while Paolucci followed with her two out two-run home run to right center to give her team a 3-0 lead.
UT-Chattanooga then rallied with a run in the bottom of the second off sophomore starter Hannah Lindsley (Narragansett, R.I.) and then Anyssa Robles lifted a three-run home run, the first of her career, to left field as the Mocs then took a 4-3 lead.
A little two out magic evened the score in the top of the fourth as senior Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.) and freshman Molly Jarrett (Northport, N.Y.) each singled before Solt came through with an RBI single to plate Salgado from second.
Alfiere meanwhile was mowing down Moc hitters left-and-right as she pitched three straight scoreless innings before her teammates gave her all the run support she needed with seven runs in the deciding sixth inning. Figmic began the inning with a single to left but two Bobcat outs had the inning near completed before the floodgates opened. Solt started the barrage with a seeing-eye single to score Figmic from second. Sophomore Brittany Cyr (Southington, Conn.) slapped an infield single and then Alba and Barba both tallied RBI singles to left to push the third run of the inning across for Quinnipiac. After Paolucci walked to load the bases, senior Kortney Kesses (Woodbridge, Conn.) a single down the left field line to score two and Figmic closed the rally with a single up the middle to score another two more and give the Bobcats an 11-4 lead. The string of batters to reach with two outs lasted seven in-a-row as the seven run inning gave the pitching staff more than enough of a lead to close the door.
The Mocs however wouldn't go quietly as they opened up in the bottom of the sixth for four runs. Robey was inserted heading into the bottom of the seventh trying to protect a three-run lead. She pitched into a little bit of trouble as the game-tying run came to the plate with two outs but she finished off the Mocs in style with a strikeout to secure her first career save.
The Bobcats will now take a day off before taking part in the City of Clearwater Spring Invitational for a five-game weekend series against Maine and Radford on Friday, Colgate and Dartmouth on Saturday and Cornell on Sunday.
Contact: Maxx McNall; firstname.lastname@example.org