CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Quinnipiac softball team lost back-to-back games on Friday at the City of Clearwater Spring Invitational as the Bobcats fell to Maine, 8-7, and Radford, 8-2, from the Eddie C. Moore Complex. Freshman Courtney Solt (Boyertown, Pa.) continues her torrid stretch despite the defeats as she went 3-for-7 on the afternoon with three runs scores as she extended her hitting streak to six games in the process. Quinnipiac drops to 4-15 on the season while Maine's 22-game losing streak came to an end as the Black Bears improve to 2-22 and Radford moves to 4-13.
Solt has been marvelous all season from the leadoff position as she notched her eighth multi-hit game of the season against Maine as she went 2-for-4 with two runs and a stolen base. She then chipped in another hit in her team's second game against Radford. Now batting .373 overall this season to lead her team, Solt has compiled an eye-popping .545 batting average (12-for-22) over her six-game hitting streak.
Other key contributors for the Bobcats on the afternoon were senior Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.) and sophomore Nikki Barba (San Diego). Alba had herself a three-hit outing against the Black Bears to go along with one RBI, two doubles, and two runs scored. It was the first three-hit game of the season for Alba and her two doubles give her 36 for her career, which stands fourth in Quinnipiac history, just seven behind the all-time record. She finished up the day with a 1-for-3 outing against Highlanders with one more RBI to give her eight on the season. Barba also posted one of the most impressive games of the season for any Bobcat hitter. Playing against the Black Bears, she went 2-for-2 with two walks to reach base in all four plate appearances. One of her two hits was her third home run of the season, a two-run shot to left field, and the other was her third double of the year.
The first game of the day against Maine, their second matchup against the Black Bears in the same week, ended in a 8-7 loss despite 11 hits for the Bobcats as a team on Friday. The day began with the two teams trading runs with Quinnipiac getting on the board with an Alba RBI single to center to score Solt from second.
The Bobcats traded runs in the second again but the Bobcats took their first lead on a two-run single to right from sophomore Brittany Cyr (Southington, Conn.). Quinnipiac did well to manufacture the two runs as senior Bridget Figmic (Stratford, Conn.) and Solt both singled and stole a base to put two runners in scoring position for Cyr's line drive single.
The score was again tied at the end of the third as Maine score two more runs in the top half before Figmic again helped manufacture a run with a suicide squeeze play up the first base line to score pinch runner Abby Johnson (Chelmsford, Mass.) and even the score at 4-4.
Maine's big break came in the fifth as a three-run homer from Jean Stevens, her fourth of the season, to give her team a 7-4 lead. The Bobcats battled back with Barba's two-run shot to left field in the bottom of the fifth to close the gap to one run but the Black Bears benefitted from an unearned run in the sixth to build their lead back up to two.
Quinnipiac again nearly roared back from a deficit as Alba and Barba laced back-to-back doubles to put two runners in scoring position. Sophomore Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) came through with a run-scoring single. Paolucci later stole second to put to game-winning run in scoring position but Maine induced two pop outs to come away with a much needed victory as they were riding the nation's longest losing streak at 22 games coming into Friday.
Freshman Nicole Gubellini (Salem, N.H.) pitched very well despite taking the loss on Friday. She tossed 4.2 two-hit innings but a pair of Quinnipiac errors helped lead to four unearned runs charged to Gubellini which proved to be the difference in the defeat.
Radford and the Bobcats later played in the afternoon with the Highlanders coming away with an 8-2 victory with 14 total hits. Quinnipiac was undone by seven runs allowed in the fifth through seventh innings as sophomore Hannah Lindsley (Narragansett, R.I.) threw five innings of two-run ball before the Highlanders struck in the later innings. Lindsley finished with 5.1 innings, a career-high six strikeouts and three earned runs as she took the loss for the Bobcats.
The game began well for the Bobcats as the two teams traded runs in the first. Quinnipiac scored on a fielding error from the Highlanders. With the game stalemated at 1-1 for a majority of the game, Radford had multiple scoring opportunities as the team left a total of seven runners on-base through four innings. They finally struck in the fifth with one run and then three runs on five hits in the sixth to take a commanding 5-1 lead.
The Bobcats picked up a two out RBI single from Alba to score Johnson from second to push the score to 5-2 before three more Highlander runs in the seventh finished off the scoring at 8-2 in favor of Radford.
Quinnipiac will try and shake off the defeats tomorrow as the team will play Colgate and Dartmouth on Saturday and finish up with Cornell on Sunday.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com