Moon Township, Pa. - Junior Mina Duffy (Piedmont, Calif.) hit the game-winning home run as the Quinnipiac softball team defeated top-seeded Robert Morris, 4-3, in the second elimination game of the 2011 Northeast Conference Softball Championships on Saturday, May 14. With the win, the Bobcats improve to 32-26 on the year and advance to the NEC Championship game, where they will take on Sacred Heart this evening at 7 p.m.
The Bobcats' junior pitcher Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) too her 23rd win of the year as she pitched a complete game for the Bobcats, striking out five Pioneers.
Quinnipiac took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the second. With one out on the inning, juniors Duffy and Ashley Heiberger (Sioux Falls, S.D.) each singled. Sophomore Kortney Kesses (Woodbridge Conn.) then doubled to left field, driving in Duffy from second base. Duffy then scored as senior first baseman Joelle Jacobsen (Flemington, N.J.) reached on a Colonials' fielding error.
Robert Morris answered with three runs in the bottom of the second to take its first lead of the game, 3-2. With no outs and the bases loaded, freshman Cassie Show doubled down the right field line to drive in Colonials' outfielders Jessica Tanigawa and Jaci Timko. After Schwartzburg picked up her first strikeout of the game against Katrina Gallagher, junior Allie Patton singled to drive in freshman Cassie Siar from third base.
With one out in the top of the sixth, Quinnipiac junior second baseman Jacqueline Ristow (Seal Beach, Calif.) and Bobcats' designated hitter Duffy hit back-to-back home runs to take back the lead, 4-3.
Quinnipiac returns to action when it plays Sacred Heart in the NEC Championship game tonight, Saturday, May 14 at 7 p.m. If the Bobcats win, they will face Sacred Heart in the second and final Championship round on Sunday, May 15.