Softball Sweeps Wagner In NEC Doubleheader

Photos of QU-Wagner Games

HAMDEN, Conn. - Senior centerfielder Angela Casella (Oceanside, N.Y.) went 3-for-7 on the day and drove in the game-winning run in the first game to help the Quinnipiac University softball team sweep Wagner College in a conference doubleheader this afternoon. Sophomore RHP Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) earned both wins in the event, as the Bobcats' collected a 4-3 win in game one, followed by a 7-1 victory in game two. With the wins, Quinnipiac improves to 23-21 overall on the year with a 10-4 record in Northeast Conference action. The Seahawks drop to 13-26 on the season with the losses, and post a 7-7 record in the NEC.

Wagner jumped out to an early lead in game one, scoring their three runs in back-to-back innings to open the game. Freshman Krysta Fauria scored the first Seahawks' run in the top of the first when she reached on a walk in the first at bat of the inning. Four batters later, junior Amanda Garcia doubled to center field to score Fauria from third for the 1-0 lead.

Their final two runs of the game crossed in the top of the second inning, with sophomore Vanessa Lenart reaching first on a walk in the third at bat. She was followed by freshman Alyssa McCulloch, who tallied a homerun to left field to boost the Wagner lead to 3-0 heading into the bottom of the second.

The Bobcats offense came to life in the bottom of the sixth, recovering the three-run lead with four hits in the inning. Freshman Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.) started the rally, as she bunt-singled down the third base line. Casella followed suit with her own bunt single, and advanced to second on the throw, moving Salgado to third. Senior Katie Allendorfer (Glenside, Pa.) scored Salgado in the next play with a sacrifice fly to center. Freshman Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.) was the next to single, this time up the middle to score Casella from second. The final run of the inning was scored by Alba on a Kim Brzezinski (Tinley Park, Ill.) single up the middle to even the score at three.

With the game tied heading into the seventh, the Bobcats defense forced a one-two-three inning for the Seahawks and came to the plate still energized from their rally in the sixth. With two outs on the board in the bottom of the seventh, Salgado tallied her second bunt single of the game and advanced to third on a throwing error by the third baseman. Casella followed Salgado in the lineup and popped a bloop single into shallow center field to score the freshman from third for the game-winning run.

Senior Emily Bellush (Newton, Mass.) started the game for Quinnipiac from the circle, pitching four innings and earning three runs on four hits allowed. She was relieved by Schwartzburg, who pitched the final three innings and allowed one hit while striking out four.

Though the Seahawks scored first again in game two, crossing one run in the top of the first inning, the Bobcats' offense dominated to earn the 7-1 victory. Quinnipiac took the lead in the bottom of the second inning and never looked back with sophomore Alex Murray (Milford, Mass.) and Salgado picking up an RBI apiece in the second to go up 2-1 over Wagner.

Brzezinski picked up her second RBI of the day in the bottom of the third inning where the Bobcats' extended their lead to 3-1. Allendorfer started the inning with a walk and was substituted out by pinch-runner Bridget Figmic (Stratford, Conn.). Figmic advanced to second in the following play on her first stolen base of the 2010 season, and was moved to third on a groundout by Alba. It was Brzezinski's sacrifice fly to left that scored Figmic, who quickly tagged up and beat the throw standing up.

Two more innings passed before Quinnipiac's offense sparked again, scoring four more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs on the board, Brzezinski lifted a double into left center to earn scoring position for the Bobcats. She was scored in the following play on a single into right by Bellush, good for her first RBI of the day. Wall singled in the next play to gain runners at first and second before senior Heather Maffeo (Milton, Mass.) stepped to the plate and smacked a double into right center to confirm the 7-1 victory.

Schwartzburg pitched the complete second game for Quinnipiac, earning her 17th victory of the 2010 season. She earned just one run on nine hits in the effort, while striking out six.

The Bobcats return to action tomorrow afternoon when they travel to Fairleigh Dickinson for their second NEC doubleheader of the weekend. The first pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. from FDU Field in Teaneck, N.J.