April 3, 2010

Softball Welcomes Bryant For Conference Doubleheader Saturday At Noon

Cats vs. Dogs
The Quinnipiac University softball team will host Bryant University in their first conference match-up at home this season. The Bobcats and the Bulldogs will play a doubleheader at the Quinnipiac Softball field, with the first pitch scheduled for 12 p.m. The team most recently swept non-conference opponent, Siena, in a doubleheader on April 2.

Scouting the Bulldogs
Bryant has put together a 3-21 record thus far on the 2010 season, with an 0-4 record in Northeast Conference play. The Bulldogs most recently dropped a doubleheader with Albany on April 1, losing 2-1 in the first game before falling 8-0 in game two. The team is led offensively by sophomore infielder Laura Bowen, who bats .338 through 24 games played with 23 hits and 13 runs scored. From the circle, the Bulldogs are led by freshman RHP Brittany Hart who posts a 4.56 ERA in 35 innings pitched.

Home Sweet Home
With the two victories against Siena on April 2, the Bobcats remain undefeated at home. Picking up wins against UConn and Harvard earlier in the season, Quinnipiac has compiled a 4-0 record while playing at the Quinnipiac Softball Field.

Flair for the Dramatics
In game one of the doubleheader against Siena, the two teams battled back and forth for the lead through the seven innings played. It wasn't until the bottom of the seventh inning, with one out on the board, that the game's fate was decided. Down by one run with a runner on third, the Bobcats were looking to tie the game, but senior Emily Bellush (Newton, Mass.) had other plans. In the first pitch she faced, Bellush slammed the ball deep into center field for the walk-off, two-run, homer to earn the Bobcats the 8-7 victory. The homerun was Bellush's third of the season.

I Told You She Was Hitting Her Stride
Though game one was decidedly won by Bellush's two-run shot to center in the bottom of the seventh, the win wouldn't have happened without the bat of senior Katie Allendorfer (Glenside, Pa.). Allendorfer went 2-for-4 from the plate and drove in five RBI for the Bobcats in game one. Allendorfer also went yard for Quinnipiac in game one, quickly matching the Saints' early 3-0 lead when she drove the ball deep to left for the three-run shot. The senior also has three homeruns on the year.

The Little Hit That Could
Going into the bottom of the seventh against Siena in game one of the doubleheader, the Bobcats were down by two runs, and needed three to earn the win. Though Bellush's homerun won the game, it was freshman Alex Alba's (Sylmar, Calif.) triple just before Bellush came to the plate that scored the first run of the inning. With senior Kim Le Bel (Quincy, Mass.) on first, Alba ripped the ball down the left line to score the runner from first to pull the Bobcats within one run of the Saints. Alba went 2-for-2 in game one with a walk and a run scored.

Unfazeable
Game two against the Saints couldn't have been more opposite of game one, with sophomore RHP Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) commanding the game from the circle for Quinnipiac. Schwartzburg pitched the complete game 3-0 shutout for Quinnipiac, good for her fourth shutout of the season, and her 12th complete game. The sophomore allowed just four hits on the day for the Bobcats, and struck out seven batters in seven innings pitched. With the seven K's, Schwartzburg's season tally now boosts to 149 strikeouts on the year.

Defense Wins Games
With the commanding spirit of Schwartzburg from the mound, and the thrill of victory from game one, the Bobcats defense was charged in game two of the day. In the top of the first inning, after giving up a single to Mandy Ferro, Schwartzburg turned a double play before striking out the final batter of the inning to kick things off. In the top of the second inning with a runner on second, Courtney Brinkman hit a shallow fly ball to right-center field to threaten a possible run scored. Though it looked like it would drop in for a single, senior Angela Casella (Oceanside, N.Y.) sprinted in from center field and dove straight out to capture the third out and close the inning and any offensive spark from the Saints. Quinnipiac made no errors in the second game against Siena.

Served
Bellush and sophomore second baseman Alex Murray (Milford, Mass.) picked up RBI's for the Bobcats in game two, while seniors Le Bel, Heather Maffeo (Milton, Mass.) and Kelly Wall (Westport, Conn.) crossing the plate for the 3-0 win. The Bobcats outhit the Saints 9-4 in the second game of the day.