Heather Schwartzburg Named Akadema/Northeast Conference Pitcher Of The Week

HAMDEN, Conn. - For the second consecutive week, sophomore RHP Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) of the Quinnipiac University softball team has been named the Akadema/Northeast Conference Pitcher of the Week. It is the first time this season an NEC softball player earned back-to-back weekly awards, and it's the second time Schwartzburg has done so in her career. It is the fourth career Pitcher of the Week award for the sophomore.

"Heather has continued to work hard at improving upon her freshman year campaign," said head coach Germaine Fairchild. "She and our program are reaping the benefits."

Schwartzburg started the week pitching three relief innings against the University of Connecticut in the Bobcats' home opener on Mar. 17. The sophomore entered the game with a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning, and struck out six of the 12 batters she faced, giving up just one hit to preserve the 1-0 victory for her first save of the 2010 season.

After the UConn victory, Schwartzburg was just one strikeout away from the 100 K mark on the year, and went above and beyond in her first appearance in the Stony Brook Invitational on Mar. 19. The Bobcats may have dropped the game, 1-0, to tournament-host Stony Brook, but Schwartzburg fanned 11 batters, tallying 100 strikeouts in 14 appearances and 75 innings pitched. She went on to earn her sixth win of the season the following day against Holy Cross when Quinnipiac defeated the Crusaders, 1-0. The right hander struck out ten batters in the complete game and allowed just one hit on the day.

Schwartzburg capped the weekend with a three-inning relief effort against Yale on Mar. 21. She entered the game in the top of the fifth, where the Bobcats were down 4-1 to the Bulldogs. Schwartzburg allowed just one hit in ten batters faced, and struck out six more in the outing. The Bobcats scored one more run in the bottom of the fifth, but were unable to spark a comeback and fell 4-2.

The sophomore leads her NEC competition in several conference categories including ERA, batters struck out, opposing batting average and innings pitched. Schwartzburg is 74 strikeouts ahead of her closest competition, Jen Russell, of Sacred Heart. She currently posts a 0.99 ERA, through 85 innings pitched while holding opposing batters to a league-low .165 batting average.

The Bobcats return to action Friday, Mar. 26 when they head to Fairfield for their second match-up with the Stags this season. The game is scheduled to start at 2:30 p.m.