April 5, 2014

Bobcat Offense Breaks Out With Single-Game Hits Record to Dominate Saint Peter's, 16-4, in Five Innings

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – For those fortunate enough to attend Quinnipiac softball's game two doubleheader against St. Peter's, they saw an offensive display that rivals some of the best the program has seen in its 37-year history. The Bobcat offensive attack busted out a single-game program record 20 hits, tallied 15 unanswered runs and also scored the largest margin of victory on the road since May 6, 2005 as they defeated Saint Peter's, 16-4, in five innings. The victory for Quinnipiac is their third straight as they improve to 6-21 (2-3 MAAC) while the Peacocks fall to 4-22 (0-4 MAAC).

For Quinnipiac, their dominating performance was the 12-run margin of victory since Feb. 26, 2012 in a 14-1 win over Saint Peter's and their largest margin of victory on the road since a 13-1 victory over St. Francis (Pa.) back on May 6, 2005. It was also their first win via mercy-rule since April 7, 2013 (W, 13-5) in six innings against Mount St. Mary's and their most runs scored since March 16, 2013 in a 16-7 win over Colgate.

Everything clicked on Saturday for the Bobcats their top four hitting contingent of Abby Johnson, Courtney Solt, Nikki Barba and Jordan Paolucci combined for 13 hits, 12 runs, two doubles, two home runs and 13 RBI. In addition to their power hitters coming through when needed, 11 different Bobcats tallied at least one base hit in the five-inning game, a single-game program record for the Quinnipiac softball team.

Solt picked up two new career highs in hits (4) and runs scored (5) as she put together a monster 4-for-5 day to go along with her five runs, one double and one RBI. The sophomore outfielder has been on a tear of late with a .489 average (22-for-45) with 17 runs, four doubles, five RBI, .574 on-base percentage and five stolen bases in the last 16 games for the Bobcats.

Paolucci was every bit the power threat the Quinnipiac faithful has gotten used to over the years as she slugged her fifth career grand slam, the most for any player in program history, in the victory. She wrapped up the day going a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs and a career high six RBI. Paolucci seems to be hitting her stride with six hits and nine RBI throughout the Saturday doubleheader against the Peacocks.

Barba tallied her second three-hit game in the last three contests for Quinnipiac as she also went a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs, one double, one home run, one walk and a career high five RBI. The junior infielder tallied her sixth multi-hit game and third home run (9th career) of the season.

Johnson was the fourth and final member of the Bobcats' dominating foursome on Saturday as she went 3-for-4 with a career high three runs scored and one RBI. Ever since Johnson moved into the leadoff position in the Bobcats' lineup on March 8 against Seton Hall she has batted .382 with 13 runs, three doubles, three RBI, nine walks and a team-best six stolen bases. The Bobcats have also won all six of their games since Johnson was inserted into the leadoff spot.

Among the seven other Bobcats to pick up hits on the day were Sydney Robey (1-for-2, one run), Hannah Lindsley (1-for-5, one double, two RBI), Dani Edmands (1-for-3, one run), Paige Giunta (1-for-2), Katie Alfiere (1-for-2, one run), Molly Jarrett (1-for-1, one run) and Katie Strong (1-for-1) who tallied her first career hit in the winning effort. Freshman Keilani Finley also picked up her first career walk to give the Bobcats 12 players to reach base safely.

Even with all the offensive achievements in the win, the Bobcats faced a 3-1 deficit after the first inning as Saint Peter's picked up three runs off Quinnipiac's senior Katie Alfiere (Beacon Falls, Conn.). The Peacocks' lone bright spot was very short-lived as Quinnipiac rattled off 15 unanswered runs to run away with the 12-run victory.

The big innings for Quinnipiac came in the second through the fourth as the Bobcats combined for 14 runs in the three innings. In the second, Johnson and Paolucci knocked RBI singles and Barba lifted a sacrifice fly to center while Solt doubled to score one and Lindsley knocked a two-run double to left center to give the Bobcats six runs on seven hits.

Barba's three-run home run in the top of the third made it a 10-1 game and she followed with an RBI double in the fourth to account for all five of her RBI accumulated before the end of the fourth inning. With Barba and Solt still on-base, Robey walked to set the stage for Paolucci who powered a bomb over the center field fence for her fourth homer of the season, 33rd of her career and fifth grand slam of her storied career.

Paolucci added a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning before Alfiere finished off the 16-4 victory for Quinnipiac in what was Alfiere's first win of the season. The Bobcats' lone senior finished with a line of five innings with just four runs allowed (three earned) on just four hits and one walk to go along with four strikeouts.

Quinnipiac will look to stay hot and continue their winning streak on Sunday with another road MAAC doubleheader against Rider slated to start at 12:00 pm.

Contact: Maxx McNall; maxx.mcnall@quinnipiac.edu