April 3, 2010

Softball Takes Two From Bryant In Conference Doubleheader

Photos of QU vs. Siena

HAMDEN, Conn. - Sophomore RHP Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) picked up two wins on the day as the Quinnipiac University softball team swept Bryant University in a Northeast Conference doubleheader this afternoon. Senior Kelly Wall (Westport, Conn.) smacked the walk-off homerun to win game one, 1-0, in extra innings, while fellow senior Katie Allendorfer (Glenside, Pa.) knocked in three runs in game two's 6-1 victory. With the wins, the Bobcats' record improves to .500 overall and in conference play (15-15, 2-2 NEC), while the Bulldogs' record drops to 3-23 overall with an 0-6 mark in the NEC.

Quinnipiac tallied nine hits in the first game of the day, creating several scoring chances in the effort. Bryant's defense, led by junior pitcher Samantha Houseal, prevented any Bobcat runs crossing the plate in the first eight innings.

The Bobcats also played smart defense in game one, and thwarted the Bulldogs' closest scoring attempt in the top of the third inning. With two outs on the board and a runner on first, senior Ashley Coon singled to the shortstop, who tried to make the out at first but the throw was beat by the runner. The play didn't stop there as Quinnipiac first baseman Joelle Jacobsen (Flemington, N.J.) noticed the runner at second trying to extend the hit to third and Jacobsen fired the throw in time for the third out.

The two teams played through 1½ extra innings before Wall stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with one out on the board. The senior blasted the first pitch she saw deep into left for the walk-off homer and the 1-0 victory for the Bobcats. The homerun was Wall's second of the season.

Senior Emily Bellush (Newton, Mass.) started the game from the circle for Quinnipiac, pitching 5.1 innings before Schwartzburg came in for relief. Bellush allowed just three hits in the effort, while striking out two. Schwartzburg pitched 3.2 innings of relief before the walk-off victory lap, and struck out nine of the 12 batters she faced.

The Bobcats scored their first run of the second game in the bottom of the third inning, when sophomore Alex Murray (Milford, Mass.) reached second base on a walk followed by a sacrifice bunt by senior Angela Casella (Oceanside, N.Y.) in the first two plays of the stanza. Murray crossed the plate in the following play as Allendorfer singled into right center for her second hit of the game.

Bryant tied the score in the top of the fourth, with sophomore Lindsay Martin scoring the lone Bulldog run of the day. Martin reached on a fielder's choice play in the third at bat of the inning, and she was driven home on a double by freshman Kate Murray.

Quinnipiac didn't allow the tie for long as three more runs crossed in the bottom of the fourth. The Bobcats loaded the bases with the first three batters of the inning, and all three advanced on a wild pitch, scoring senior Kim Le Bel (Quincy, Mass.) from third. With Jacobsen at third and sophomore Mina Duffy (Piedmont, Calif.) at second, Casella came to the plate with one out on the board and smacked the ball into the right field fence, scoring both runners for the 4-1 lead.

Allendorfer drove in the final two runs of the day for Quinnipiac in the bottom of the sixth inning. After Jacobsen and Duffy walked, Murray advanced both runners to second and third on a sacrifice bunt to the pitcher. Allendorfer drove her teammates home two plays later with her third single of the day, sealing the 6-1 victory.

Schwartzburg stayed on the mound for game two, pitching her 13th complete game of the season in the 6-1 win. She allowed five hits in game two against the Bulldogs, earning one run and striking out six.

The Bobcats return to action on Wednesday, April 7, when they head to Fairfield for a make-up game. The first pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. from Alumni Softball Field in Fairfield.