April 2, 2011

Softball Splits NEC Doubleheader Against Mount St. Mary's

QU vs. Mount Saint Mary's Photos

HAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University softball team (17-4, 1-1 NEC) split its first Northeast Conference doubleheader of the 2011 season against Mount St. Mary's (9-15, 1-1 NEC) on Saturday, April 2 at the Quinnipiac Softball Field. The Bobcats lost, 11-6, in the first contest and won, 6-2, in game two.

The Bobcats were led by freshman Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) and sophomore Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.), as they each went 3-for-6 and picked up two RBI. Both players each hit a home run, while Paolucci scored three runs and Alba crossed home plate twice.

In Quinnipiac's first outing of the day, the Mountaineers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second. The Bobcats responded and took a one run lead as they scored three runs in the bottom of the third. Paolucci led off with a double to left center, followed by a Figmic single to first base. After Figmic stole second, both Paolucci and Bridget Figmic (Stratford, Conn.) scored on an Ashley Heiberger (Sioux Falls, S.D.) single to right field. Heiberger went on to score the Bobcats' third run later in the inning, advancing to home plate while Jessica Amenda (Milford, Conn.) was picked off between first and second.

Alba led off the third with a double to center field. Paolucci was then hit by a pitch. Both players advanced on a sac bunt by third baseman Figmic. After Heiberger flied out to center field, Paolucci and Alba each scored a Quinnipiac run on an Amenda single up the middle.

Down 5-2, Mount St. Mary's came back to hold a 7-5 advantage when it scored five runs in the top of the fourth. Quinnipiac added a run in the bottom of the fourth, to narrow the gap by one run, when Paolucci singled to left field, driving in Jacqueline Ristow (Seal Beach, Calif.), who reached base on a single to left center. The Mountaineers went on to score four additional runs on two hits in the top of the seventh to end the game.

Three Bobcats pitched in the first match-up against Mount St. Mary's, but it was Emily O'Keefe (Southington, Conn.) who would take the loss after pitching 2.2 innings. Mina Duffy (Piedmont, Calif.) and Katie Alfiere (Beacon Falls, Conn.) also made appearances for Quinnipiac in game one.

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Bobcats went ahead, 3-0, in the third. Senior captain Joelle Jacobsen (Flemington, N.J.) led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on an Alex Murray (Milford, Mass.) groundout to Mount St. Mary's pitcher Amanda Sadowl. Jacobsen advanced to third on another Quinnipiac groundout and scored the Bobcats' first run of the game on a Mount St. Mary's error. Alba hit her first home run of the season to left center, also driving in Ristow.

Although the Mountaineers came back within one run, after scoring two runs on two hits in the top of the sixth, the Bobcats added three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Paolucci led off the inning with her fifth home run of the season. Heiberger went on to score on a Jacobsen single, followed by Figmic, who scored on an illegal pitch.

Junior pitcher Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) picked up her 10th win of the season as she pitched a complete game. Schwartzburg struck out nine batters and only allowed three hits across seven innings.

Quinnipiac returns to action when it hosts NEC opponent Monmouth on Sunday, April 3, in a twinbill starting at noon at the Quinnipiac Softball Field in Hamden, Conn.