Softball Hosts Robert Morris, Saint Francis (Pa.) This Weekend

Sophomore Katie Alfiere

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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (23-14, 9-5 NEC) vs.
Robert Morris Colonials (26-18, 10-4 NEC)
Saturday, April 21, 2012 – 1:00 p.m. (DH)
QU Softball Field – Hamden, Conn.

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (23-14, 9-5 NEC) vs.
Saint Francis (Pa.) University Red Flash (19-21, 6-8 NEC)
Sunday, April 22, 2012 – 12:00 p.m. (DH)
QU Softball Field – Hamden, Conn.

Quinnipiac Battles NEC Opponents From The Keystone State
The Quinnipiac University softball team (23-14, 9-5 NEC) continues Northeast Conference play as it hosts Robert Morris University (26-18, 10-4 NEC) and Saint Francis (Pa.) University (19-21, 6-8 NEC) at the QU Softball Field in Hamden, Conn. this weekend. The Bobcats will first battle the RMU Colonials on Saturday, April 21 in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m., followed by a league twinbill against the Red Flash on Sunday, April 22 beginning at Noon.

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Live stats and audio for both series will be available by clicking on the appropriate links on the Quinnipiac softball schedule on the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.

Scouting Robert Morris
The Colonials currently stand at 26-18 on the year and lead the NEC with a 10-4 record. Robert Morris will first face Sacred Heart University on Friday, April 20 before coming to Quinnipiac the following day. In their most recent outings, the Colonials split a non-league doubleheader against Akron on Tuesday, April 17. RMU is led by Sara Capp’s .376 batting average and .549 slugging percentage. Capp also paces the Colonials in hits (50) and RBI (36) while Jaci Timko has scored a team-leading 28 runs on the year. Nicole Sleith has appeared in 37 games from within the circle, posting up a team-best 18 wins and 1.76 ERA. Sleith has recorded 183 strikeouts in 179 innings pitched while holding opponents to .224 batting. 

All-Time Against The Colonials
Quinnipiac holds an all-time Division I record with Robert Morris, 8-19, dating back to 1999. Last year, the Bobcats dropped a NEC doubleheader at RMU, 11-1 and 3-2, during the regular season on April 30. On May 14, Quinnipiac defeated the Colonials, 4-3, in the 2011 NEC Tournament to advance to the championship round.

Scouting Saint Francis (Pa.)
Saint Francis (Pa.) enters the weekend at 19-21 overall with a  6-8 mark in conference play. The Red Flash will first play Sacred Heart on Saturday, April 21 before making the trip to Quinnipiac on Sunday. In its most recent match-ups, Saint Francis (Pa.) swept Bucknell in a pair of non-league games, 6-0 and 9-1 on Tuesday, April 17. Taylor Darneille leads the Red Flash with a .403 batting average and is slugging a team-high .639 on the year. Paige Smith ranks first in runs scored (28), RBI (23), and hits (39) while batting .293. Smith and Davina Kachnovitz have each stolen eight bases this season. Two members of the Red Flash squad have recorded ERAs nearing the 2.50 mark. Megan Layne leads the team with a 2.41 ERA in 19 appearances, while Brooke Koch posts a 2.44 ERA and a team-best eight wins. Both Layne and Koch have compiled 53 strikeouts this season, while Chelsea Rex paces the team in strikeouts (61).

All-Time Against The Red Flash
The Bobcats lead the all-time Division I series with Saint Francis (Pa.), 17-8, dating back to the 1999 season. Last year, Quinnipiac swept the Red Flash, 2-0 and 11-3, in a pair of conference games on May 1, 2011.

Last Time Out
In their most recent outing, the Bobcats dropped a non-league game, 5-2, at Fairfield University on Thursday, April 19. Quinnipiac senior pitcher Christy Cabrera received her seventh loss of the year while also compiling a team-best three hits on the afternoon. Junior Jacquie Ristow and freshman Nikki Barba each contributed a hit and RBI, while Ristow and junior Lauren Salgado both scored a run against the Stags. 

Weekday Action
Prior to traveling to Fairfield, Quinnipiac split a doubleheader with non-conference foe Manhattan on Wednesday, April 18. The Bobcats were shut out, 5-0, in game one as freshman Hannah Lindsley made her pitching debut against the Jaspers. Quinnipiac came back with a 3-2 victory later in the day. Senior Christy Cabrera earned the win while fellow classmate Heather Schwartzburg picked up her third save of the season. QU outhit Manhattan, 7-to-4, in the two-game set, and were led by Cabrera, junior Alex Alba and senior Heather Schwartzburg’s two hits. Alba also recorded a team-leading two RBI.

A Look At the League Standings
With the final two weekends of the regular season approaching, the Bobcats currently rank third in the NEC standings at 9-5. QU’s first opponent of the weekend, Robert Morris, leads the standings at 10-4 while LIU Brooklyn stands third with an 8-4 mark in conference play. Behind Quinnipiac, in fourth, stands Central Connecticut State at 6-4, followed by Monmouth (7-5) and Bryant (5-5). Saint Francis (Pa.) and Sacred Heart are positioned seventh at 6-8 while Fairliegh Dickinson, Mount St. Mary’s and Wagner round out the field of 11.

RPI Rankings
The Bobcats continue to climb in the NCAA Softball RPI Rankings. As of Monday, April 16, Quinnipiac stands at 114th in the national rankings after moving ahead from 121st to 119th last week.  The Bobcats continue to stay in front of all NEC schools in the standings.

Dangerous Defense
Quinnipiac continues to play near-perfect defense as it ranks 35th in the NCAA standings in fielding percentage (0.97), which paces its NEC opponents.

Taking Chances
Quinnipiac is 34-for-41 in stolen bases this year, while its opponents have only been successful on 21 stolen base attempts. Junior Lauren Salgado, last year’s team-leader in stolen bases with 18 in 2011, also paces the Bobcats this season as she’s a perfect 6-for-6 in stolen bases.

Perfect Pitching
Senior Heather Schwartzburg remains the Bobcats’ leader in several pitching categories including wins (14), saves (3), ERA (1.65), innings pitched (136), strikeouts (151), and opponent batting average (.174). Schwartzburg has compiled 909 career-strikeouts in four seasons with Quinnipiac.

Bobcats On Top
Two Bobcats are currently batting above the .300 mark, including junior Alex Alba (.360) and senior Christy Cabrera (.319). Alba also ranks first amongst her teammates in slugging percentage (.631), hits (40), total bases (70) and doubles (13), while Cabrera leads Quinnipiac with a .412 on-base percentage and 22 runs scored. Senior Mina Duffy has launched a team-best seven homers this season while compiling 25 RBI this year, also a team-high.

Early Leads
Quinnipiac has scored 39 of its 139 total points this year in the first inning, almost one-third of the Bobcats’ season point total.

What’s Ahead For The Bobcats
Quinnipiac returns to action when it travels to play Hartford University in a non-league twinbill on Wednesday, April 25. The first game is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m.

Contact: Lindsay Oliveri, lmoliveri@quinnipiac.edu