HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University softball team certainly had their moments and hung in with the America East's first place Stony Brook but ultimately fell twice in the non-conference doubleheader, 4-2 and 8-3. Despite frigid temperatures and impending darkness towards the latter half of game two, the Bobcats failed to go down easily as they held the Seawolves' offense scoreless in the final four innings of game one and three innings of game two. The Bobcats were doomed by their lack of timely hitting as they stranded 17 runners combined throughout the doubleheader. Quinnipiac falls to 8-29 on the season while Stony Brook ups their winning streak to seven games as they improve to 22-14.
Facing one of the top pitchers throughout the Northeast for 9.2 of the total 14 innings is never an easy task as the Bobcats took their best swings at Stony Brook's Allison Cukrov. Sophomore Dani Edmands (Northborough, Mass.) led the Bobcat attack with a career-high 3-for-4 day with one run and one RBI in game one. She followed that up with a double and run scored in game two to combine for a team-high four hits. Junior Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) finished with one hit in each game to extend her career-best hitting streak to 12 straight games. Sophomore Abby Johnson (Chelmsford, Mass.) also picked up two hits including her first career triple while junior Nikki Barba (San Diego, Calif.) and sophomore Sydney Robey (Glenmoore, Pa.) each tallied two hits on the day.
Robey took the bump in game one and pitched a solid game as she went the distance and allowed just two earned runs in her seven innings of work. She limited the Seawolves to nine hits and two walks while striking out three. Robey's effort with runners on was key as she kept her team in the game throughout, combining to strand 10 Seawolves throughout her seven innings. Senior Katie Alfiere (Beacon Falls, Conn.) took the mound in game two and couldn't recover from her first four innings where she allowed all eight of her runs. Alfiere settled down in the fifth and didn't allow a run to come across in the final three innings as she finished with a complete game allowing eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits with two strikeouts.
In game one, Stony Brook struck first with two runs in the first inning as they built a lead that they would never relinquish. Three straight Seawolves reached to start the inning capped by an RBI single up the middle from Shayla Giosia. Kat Zabielski added an RBI groundout as Robey limited the damage to just two runs as she retired three straight to end the inning.
Stony Brook added another run in the second but the inning ended with the bases loaded as Robey fielded a grounder back to the mound, flipped to home and then Edmands gunned the ball down to first base for the inning-ending double play.
Quinnipiac picked up their first run of the game was Paolucci and Edmands singled to lead off the inning and later with two outs junior Brittney Cyr (Southington, Conn.) and Johnson forced back-to-back walks to force in a run and make it 3-1.
The Seawolves bounced right back with a run of their own in the third while the Bobcats' Edmands came through with an RBI single in the bottom half to push the score to 4-2.
Throughout the remainder of the game both teams were locked in a pitcher's duel as Stony Brook's Cukrov entered in the fifth inning and shut down the Bobcat lineup as they managed just two hits and one walk in her three innings of work as she finished with seven strikeouts. Quinnipiac managed to threaten in the seventh inning as Barba and Edmands both singled but a pop out to second base put an end to game one.
In the second game, Cukrov started from the get-go and Quinnipiac could only manage four hits and one walk against the Stony Brook ace.
After the Seawolves took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, the Bobcats' leadoff hitter Johnson whipped her first career triple down the right field line. One batter later, Barba nudged a perfect suicide bunt down the first base line as Johnson came in flying to score the first Quinnipiac run of the game.
Despite the early success, the Seawolves tacked on one run in each the second and third inning before exploding for four runs in the fourth frame to take a commanding 8-1 lead.
Alfiere, the Bobcats' game two starter, settled down after the fourth as she went three scoreless innings to finish off the game while Quinnipiac picked up two runs in the seventh inning. Cukrov was lifted for Christine Lucido in the final inning and the Bobcats certainly took advantage. Edmands started with a leadoff double down the left field line and Alfiere singled to right. Freshman Keilani Finley (Alameda, Calif.) walked to load the bases and Johnson also worked a four-ball count to drive in a run. Cukrov was then inserted back into the game and forced an RBI groundout before ending the game on a pop out to first base.
Quinnipiac will now prepare for a big Easter Sunday doubleheader with Monmouth as both teams are on the outside, looking in for the MAAC playoff picture. Standing at 4-8 in the MAAC, the Bobcats need to start stringing wins together to put themselves in good position to finish as one of the top six teams that'll make the MAAC Tournament.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com