Quinnipiac Softball Field - Hamden, Conn.
Quinnipiac Continues NEC Play
The Quinnipiac University softball team (22-16, 6-2 NEC) hosts back-to-back Northeast Conference doubleheaders against Long Island (11-27, 2-4 NEC) and Central Connecticut State (19-12-1) this weekend. The Bobcats will face Long Island on Saturday, April 16 starting at 1 p.m. and Central Connecticut State on Sunday, April 17 beginning at noon. Both series will be played at the Quinnipiac Softball Field in Hamden, Conn.
Live stats for this weekend's contests will be available by clicking on the appropriate links on the official website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com. Live audio will also be available for the second games of each twinbill.
Scouting Long Island
Long Island enters Saturday's game at 11-27 on the year and with a 2-4 mark in conference play. In their most recent outing, the Blackbirds defeated Stony Brook, 5-1, on Thursday, April 12. Prior to the victory over Stony Brook, Long Island picked up its first two NEC wins of the year as it swept Mount St. Mary's in a doubleheader, 7-4 and 5-3, on April 7. The Blackbirds are led by sophomore Emily Kakuska, who leads the team with 38 hits, 20 RBI and a .242 batting average. Senior shortstop Bianca Mejia leads Long Island in runs (22) and with a .467 on-base percentage. Both Kakuska and Mejia post a team-high .468 slugging percentage. In addition, junior pitcher Sarah Reynolds has won six games for the Blackbirds and stuck out a team-high 75 batters. Reynolds has made 25 appearances for Long Island and posts a 4.55 ERA.
All-Time Against The Blackbirds
Quinnipiac holds an all-time record of 3-17 with Long Island, dating back to 2004. Last season, the Bobcats lost both games they played against the Blackbirds, falling 10-0 and 3-1 in 2010.
Scouting Central Connecticut State
At 6-2 on the year, Central Connecticut State is tied with Quinnipiac in first place in the NEC. The Blue Devils enter the weekend with an overall record of 19-12-1, after splitting a non-conference doubleheader with Rhode Island on April 12. Central Connecticut lost, 6-4, in the opening game and came back with a 12-7 win over the Rams in game two. Arielle Bruno leads the Blue Devils with a .379 batting average, in hits (39) and runs (25), while Kelsey Barlow has driven in a team-high 31 runs this season. Liz Montemurro and Jordan Tingley have each won seven contests for the Blue Devils this year. Montemurro posts a team-high 2.33 ERA, while Tingley has struck out 53 batters in 2011. Central Connecticut will play NEC opponent Wagner on Saturday, April 16 before it travels to play Quinnipiac on Sunday.
All-Time Against The Blue Devils
The Bobcats lead the all-time series with Central Connecticut State, 11-5, dating back to the 2003 season. Last year, Quinnipiac split a doubleheader with the Blue Devils. The Bobcats lost, 6-2, and won, 5-4, against Central Connecticut State in 2010.
Last Time Out
On Sunday, April 10, the Bobcats swept Bryant on the road in a NEC doubleheader, 4-2 and 6-3. With the victories, Quinnipiac improved to a 6-2 mark in conference play and at first place in the NEC standings, alongside Central Connecticut State. The Bobcats' Jacqueline Ristow went 3-for-7 against the Bulldogs, scored one run and picked up a team-high 3 RBI. In addition, freshman Jordan Paolucci went 3-for-6 with two runs scored and a RBI. Juniors Mina Duffy and Christy Cabrera each went 2-for-6, while Cabrera also scored a team-high three runs and drove in two runs for the Bobcats.
Quinnipiac split a pair of NEC contests against Wagner on Saturday, April 9. In game one, the Bobcats lost 4-3 in a meeting that lasted 15 innings. As the scoreboard read 2-2 entering the seventh inning, both teams could not score and the game was forced into extra innings. Quinnipiac and Wagner each put up a run in the 10th, but it would be the Seahawks who would score the winning run in the bottom of the 15th. Mina Duffy led the Bobcats in the loss as she went 3-for-6 with a run scored. Quinnipiac went on to beat Wagner, 11-1, across six innings in game two.
In the second match-up against Wagner last weekend, Quinnipiac put up a season-high 11 runs against the Seahawks, defeating them by 10 runs, 11-1. The Bobcats' were led by shortstop Alex Alba who went 3-for-4, scored three runs and drove in a run. Quinnipiac's Jordan Paolucci went 2-for-4 and scored three runs, while Kim Brzezinski went 2-for-3 and picked up one run and two RBI. Freshman Katie Alfiere led Quinnipiac from inside the circle as she picked up her third win of the year. Alfiere pitched six innings and only allowed three hits and one run.
Freshman Jordan Paolucci picked up her first career NEC weekly accolade as she was named the softball Akadema/NEC Rookie of the Week on Monday, April 11. Paolucci started in all five of Quinnipiac's games last week and helped the team pick up three conference wins over the weekend. Paolucci led all Bobcats with a .500 batting average, a .571 on base percentage and a .944 slugging percentage. The rookie went 9-for-18, scored a team-high six runs and drove in three runs for Quinnipiac. Paolucci also hit two home runs, increasing her season total to eight, and added two stolen bases against Wagner.
Keeping Up With Kim
Senior Kim Brzezinski hit her first home run of the 2011 season in the Bobcats' 6-3 win against Bryant. With the scoreboard tied at three runs apiece, Brzezinski led off the sixth inning with a homer to take a 4-3 lead over the Bulldogs. The Bobcats' went on to add two more runs in the inning, picking up their second victory of the day.
Schwartzburg In The Spotlight
Heather Schwartzburg has made 24 appearances and 18 starts this season for the Bobcats. She currently holds a 14-7 record, with three saves, and has picked up 187 strikeouts across 142.2 innings on the year.
Schwartzburg has earned a 1.47 ERA and leads pitching across the NEC and NCAA. The right-handed junior was recently named Quinnipiac's March female Athlete of the Month for March and has picked up three Akadema/NEC Pitcher of the Week titles this season.
Freshman Jordan Paolucci leads all Bobcats in batting average (.337), slugging percentage (.563) and on base percentage (.492). Paolucci also leads the team with 27 runs, 19 RBI and eight home runs this year. In addition, second baseman Jacqueline Ristow leads Quinnipiac with 38 runs, while third baseman Bridget Figmic has posted eight doubles this season.
Sophomore Lauren Salgado leads Quinnipiac in stolen bases, with 12 on the year. Salgado has been successful on each of her 12 steal attempts this season.
Power At The Plate
Jordan Paolucci leads Quinnipiac with eight home runs in her freshman season. Paolucci has hit at least one home run in each of the Bobcats' four NEC doubleheaders this year. The freshman has hit four homers in the month of April alone.
What's Next For Quinnipiac
The Bobcats return to action when they play host to Hartford on Wednesday, April 20 at 4:30 p.m. at the Quinnipiac Softball Field in Hamden, Conn.