JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Having long been considered the best power hitter the Quinnipiac softball program has ever seen, Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) continued to add to her legacy as she became just the third Bobcat ever to reach 100 career RBI in a 6-3 victory over Saint Peter's. Paolucci led the Bobcat offense with her three RBI on the day to go along with three hits for her fifth career three-hit game. Quinnipiac's (5-21, 1-3 MAAC) triumph over the Peacocks (4-21, 0-3 MAAC) in game one of Saturday's doubleheader marked their first victory in their new conference, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC).
For Paolucci, it was her second three-hit game in the last four contests for Quinnipiac while she bumps her RBI total up to 11 for the season. She joins Sarah Collins '06 (124) and Kerri McMahon '96 (120) as the only three Bobcats in the history of the program to make up the 100-career RBI club. Paolucci's third hit also represented the 130th of her career as she also becomes just the 14th player in Quinnipiac's history to reach the milestone.
Sophomore Abby Johnson (Chelmsford, Mass.) continued her torrid stretch from the leadoff position with a 2-for-3 day including one run scored, one RBI and one stolen base. Sophomore Courtney Solt (Boyertown, Pa.) picked up a single, walk and two runs scored.
Pitching was the story for the Bobcats as sophomore Sydney Robey (Glenmoore, Pa.) and senior Katie Alfiere (Beacon Falls, Conn.) combined for a seven-hitter with just three runs allowed (two earned) while striking out a season-high 11 combined batters. Robey earned the victory with six hits allowed and three runs (two earned) in five innings of work to go along with a career-high seven strikeouts. Alfiere came in and allowed just one hit in two innings while striking out four to earn her third save of the season.
Robey benefitted from some early run support as the Bobcats built a 3-0 lead after two innings to seize control early. Johnson and Solt led off the game with back-to-back singles and came around on an RBI groundout from Robey and run-scoring single from Paolucci in the first inning. Junior Brittney Cyr (Southington, Conn.) and her speed paid dividends as she worked a one out walk in the second inning, stole second base and came around on a Johnson single to center field.
Robey escaped potential damage in the fourth as she worked her way out of a two-out two runners on situation in the fourth. The Bobcats' top pitcher helped her own cause with a double in the fifth followed by a Paolucci double through the right side of the infield to score her from second and make it a 5-0 game.
After sophomore Paige Giunta (Downingtown, Pa.) added another run with an RBI groundout, Saint Peter's broke through with three runs in the bottom of the sixth as they chased Robey with five straight batters reaching to lead off the inning. The Peacocks scored two runs off an error and an RBI single forced Robey out in favor of Alfiere.
Quinnipiac's first-year head coach Jill Karwoski put a ton of faith in her lone senior to escape the inning and the Bobcats' closer came through with a gutty performance. She entered with runners on second and first with no outs and started with a sacrifice bunt out as the Peacocks moved both into scoring position. With the game-tying run at the plate, Alfiere picked up consecutive strikeouts to lead the Bobcats out of the treacherous situation.
The Bobcats tacked on another insurance run in the seventh as Solt walked and then stole second with two outs before coming around on Paolucci's 100th career RBI with a single to right field.
Alfiere continued her dominance in the seventh, allowing a harmless two out single before punching out the last batter with her fourth strikeouts to seal victory for the Bobcats.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com