Softball Heads To Hartford For Non-League Games On Wednesday

Junior Jacquie Ristow

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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (24-15, 10-6 NEC) at
University of Hartford Hawks (8-34, 3-9 America East)
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 – 2:30 PM (DH)
Hartford Softball Field – West Hartford, Conn.

Quinnipiac Travels For In-State Action
The Quinnipiac University softball team (24-15, 10-6 NEC) travels to play a pair of non-conference games at the University of Hartford (8-34, 3-9 America East) on  Wednesday, April 25. The first contest is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. at the Hartford Softball Field in West Hartford, Conn.

Multimedia
Live stats will be available by clicking on the appropriate links of the Quinnipiac softball schedule at the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.

Scouting Hartford
The Hawks enter Wednesday’s two-game set at 8-34 overall and 3-9 in the America East. Hartford has won its last three contests, all of which against America East opponent UMBC. On Friday, April 20, the Hawks defeated UMBC, 3-1 and 7-4, followed by a 3-2 victory on Saturday. Siera Sheehan currently leads Hartford from within the circle with a team-leading 7-9 record and 4.16 ERA. Sheehan has pitched in 26 contests and 126.1 innings this season while holding opponents to a .295 batting average. Petyon Fisher paces the Hawks with a .270 batting average while Amber Andrews ranks first on the team in hits (33), runs scored (23), total bases (49), slugging percentage (.386) and on-base percentage (.365). Kate Wacyk has compiled a team-leading 23 RBI.

All-Time Against The Hawks
Hartford leads the all-time series with Quinnipiac, 7-6, dating back to the 1986 season. Last year, the Bobcats dropped a non-league game to the Hawks, 1-0, on April 20, 2011 at the QU Softball Field. Prior to playing the Hawks once during the 2011 season, Quinnipiac had split six doubleheaders with Hartford, most recently in 1999.

Last Time Out
In its most recent outings, Quinnipiac split a NEC twinbill with Robert Morris on Saturday, April 20. The Bobcats lost to the Colonials, 1-0, in game one and came back with a 3-1 victory in the second contest of the afternoon. Senior Heather Schwartzburg went the distance for Quinnipiac as she threw two complete games, improving her season record to 15-5. Schwartzburg fanned 12 RMU batters while scattering six hits and one earned run in the two-game series. Seniors Ashley Heiberger and Christy Cabrera both contributed two hits for the Bobcats while Cabrera and juniors Alex Alba and Jacquie Ristow each scored one run against the Colonials.

A Look At The League Standings
With two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Bobcats find themselves at third in the NEC softball standings. QU currently holds a 10-6 mark in league play, behind top-ranked LIU Brooklyn (12-4) and at second, Robert Morris (13-5). Bryant (7-5) is fifth in the standings, followed by Central Conn. St. (7-6) and Saint Francis (Pa.) (8-8), respectively. Mount St. Mary’s (6-8) holds the eighth slot while Sacred Heart (6-12), Fairleigh Dickinson (5-11) and Wagner (4-12) round out the 11-opponent field.

NEC Notes
Quinnipiac is currently third in the league in stolen bases (35). The Bobcats are led by junior Lauren Salgado’s 7-for-8 stolen base performance this season.

Stats From Within The Circle
Quinnipiac leads the Northeast Conference in several pitching categories including hits allowed (215), runs allowed (115), earned runs allowed (96) and opposing batting average (.223). The Bobcats rank second amongst NEC opponents in team ERA (2.57) while they stand fourth in the NEC in batters struck out (220) Quinnipiac’s 24 wins are tied at third with Central Conn. St.

Dangerous Defense
Quinnipiac continues to hold on to its conference-leading fielding percentage at .971 on the year, which also ranks 31st in the NCAA standings. The Bobcats have made combined for 33 errors this season while its opponents have made 59 errors overall. In addition Quinnipiac ranks second in the NEC in the “caught stealing by” statistical category as it’s caught 17 of its opponents’ in stolen base attempts. 

Slugging Stats
Quinnipiac junior Alex Alba paces the Bobcats with a team-high .607 slugging percentage, which also stands fifth amongst her NEC counterparts.

Double Trouble
QU shortstop Alex Alba has compiled a team and conference leading 13 doubles this season. Alba ranks 10th in the NCAA standings with .34 doubles per game.

Perfect Pitching
Senior Heather Schwartzburg continues to lead the NEC in several pitching categories, including ERA (1.54) and opposing batting average (.170). Schwartzburg’s 163 season strikeouts rank third in the conference, while she stands fifth in innings pitched (150).

The QU starting pitcher posts a 15-5 record this year after making 28 appearances and 21 starts. Schwartzburg has thrown 18 complete games while also earning three saves. She’s compiled a program-best 920 career strikeouts in four seasons at Quinnipiac.

Schwartzburg also ranks nationally as she stands 25th in ERA (1.54), 50th in strikeouts per seven innings (7.6), ninth in hits allowed per seven innings (4.11), 27th in saves (3), and 82nd in wins (15). 

Featured Freshman
Nikki Barba continues to lead all rookie Bobcats this season with a .257 batting average (27-for-105). She’s also managed to keep a .371 slugging percentage and .339 on-base percentage. The freshman shortstop is the only freshman to start in each of QU’s 39 games this year while compiling 12 RBI, 15 runs scored and six doubles.

Pitching Debut
Freshman Hannah Lindsley made her pitching debut with the Bobcats in Quinnipiac’s 5-0 loss at Manhattan last week. Lindsley saw six innings while scattering nine hits and fanning five Manhattan batters.

What’s Ahead For Quinnipiac
The Bobcats return to action when they host NEC foe Bryant University in a league twinbill on Sunday, April 29 beginning at Noon. Quinnipiac will honor its four seniors prior to the start of Sunday’s games, including Christy Cabrera, Mina Duffy, Ashley Heiberger and Heather Schwartzburg.

Contact: Lindsay Oliveri, lmoliveri@quinnipiac.edu