May 4, 2012

Softball Hosts Saint Francis (Pa.) In Final Games Of Regular Season

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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (29-15, 12-6 NEC) vs.
Saint Francis (Pa.) University Red Flash (21-25, 8-10 NEC)
Saturday, May 5, 2012 – 1:00 p.m. (Doubleheader)
QU Softball Field – Hamden, Conn.

Bobcats Close Out Regular Season
The Quinnipiac University softball team (29-15, 12-6) will host Saint Francis (Pa.) University (21-25, 8-10 NEC) in a rescheduled Northeast Conference doubleheader on Saturday, May 5 at the QU Softball Field. The first game will begin at 1 p.m. as the Bobcats close the regular season and prepare for the 2012 NEC Softball Championships next weekend. Quinnipiac has won its last six contests, while the Red Flash dropped a pair of league games to Central Connecticut State University in their most recent outings.

Multimedia
Live stats and audio for Saturday’s twinbill will be available by clicking on the appropriate links of the Quinnipiac softball schedule on the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.

Scouting Saint Francis (PA)
The Red Flash enters the weekend having lost their last four match-ups and currently stand at 21-25 overall and 8-10 in conference action. Most recently, Saint Francis (Pa.) was eliminated from the NEC Tournament when it fell to NEC foe Central Connecticut State, 6-2 and 7-5, on April 30. Paige Smith currently leads the Red Flash with a team-high 45 hits, 27 RBI, and 28 runs scored with a .287 batting average on the year. Four members of the Saint Francis (Pa.) club is currently batting above the .300 mark, including Taylor Darneille, who’s batting .375 (33-88). Taylor Parsons has accumulated a team-best 11 doubles, while three players have each hit four homeruns this season. Saint Francis (Pa.) has been led by Megan Layne, Brooke Koch, and Chelsea Rex from within the circle throughout 2012. Koch has recorded a team-leading nine wins in 110 innings, while Layne has appeared in the most games pitching (24) and holds the team’s best ERA (2.09). Each have combined for over 60 strikeouts, while Rex has fanned 68 batters and pitched 12 complete games in 19 starts.

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
Quinnipiac extended its five-game win streak to six victories as it defeated America East opponent Stony Brook, 4-0, on Tuesday, May 1. Bobcats’ sophomore Katie Alfiere pitched all seven innings, improving her season record to 7-2. Alfiere scattered four hits and walked two Seawolves, striking out three batters on the afternoon. Quinnipiac scored each of its runs during the bottom of the second inning. Senior catcher Ashley Heiberger drove in Alfiere and senior Bridget Figmic on a three-run homer, her third home run of the year, while Alfiere also contributed a RBI single in the inning. Five Bobcats each had one hit against Stony Brook.

Quinnipiac Female Athlete of the Year
Senior Heather Schwartzburg was recently recognized as Quinnipiac’s Female Athlete of the Year at the 2011-12 Quinnipiac University Athletics and Recreation Awards program at the TD Bank Sports Center on Wednesday, May 2. Schwartzburg will go down as one of the most dominant pitchers in Quinnipiac and Northeast Conference softball history as she ranks first all-time in career wins, innings pitched and strikeouts at QU. Schwartzburg flourished last year in her junior campaign which led to a 2011 NEC Pitcher of the Year selection. The season included 23 wins and 296 strikeouts, figures that place her first all-time in the two single-season categories. Schwartzburg turned around a replicated a stellar 2011 campaign with a similar season in 2012. With a few games and the NEC Tournament left to play, she has a team-leading 178 strikeouts, 17 wins, a 1.53 earned run average, and .168 opponent batting average on the season.

Athlete Of The Month
Junior Alex Alba was named Quinnipiac Female Athlete of the Month for April this week. The Bobcats’ starting shortstop posted a .333 batting average as she matched a team-leading 23 hits. Alba started in all 21 contests during the month, also leading Quinnipiac with 43 total bases and 20 RBI, while contributing 15 runs scored. The Sylmar, Calif. native recorded a team-high five home runs and five doubles throughout April. She also was successful on three steal attempts, while recording a .387 on base percentage and pacing the Bobcats with a .623 slugging percentage. Alba only made two errors as she made 37 putouts and 46 assists from the infield.

Alba has been one of the Bobcats’ most consistent players from the plate this season. She currently leads the team with a .351 batting average (47-134), while ranking first in hits (47), total bases (81), doubles (14) and slugging percentage (.604). Alba also stands second on the team with 26 RBI and 20 runs scored.

Power At The Plate
Senior Mina Duffy leads Quinnipiac with 28 RBI and seven homeruns this year. She also ranks second on the team with six doubles, 20 runs scored and a .455 slugging percentage.

Daring Defense
Quinnipiac continues to pace the Northeast Conference with a .970 fielding percentage, which ranked 39th in this week’s NCAA standings. The Bobcats have only made 39 errors this season, while their opponents have registered 69 errors in 44 games.

Perfect Pitching
The Bobcats’ team ERA of 2.46 ranks 61st in the NCAA standings. Senior Heather Schwartzburg’s ERA of 1.53 also ranks in the top 50 in the country, while her 17 wins stand in the 71st position. Quinnipiac’s ERA ranks second in the NEC, while its opposing batting average (.218) paces league opponents.

Stealing Stats
The Bobcats lead the Northeast Conference with 40 stolen bases this year, while their 50 steal attempts rank second in the league. Junior Lauren Salgado and senior Ashley Heiberger have each compiled a team-leading seven stolen bases this year.

Tournament Time
Robert Morris has clinched the top-seed in this year’s NEC Tournament. Alongside Quinnipiac, are conference opponents LIU Brooklyn and Monmouth. This will be the Bobcats’ third consecutive trip to the NEC Championships, as Quinnipiac has earned the No. 3 seed in the last two league tournaments.  

What’s Ahead For Quinnipiac
The Bobcats return to action when they compete at the 2012 NEC Softball Championships next weekend at top-seeded Robert Morris on May 10-12. Quinnipiac’s seeding will be determined based on Saturday’s results.

Contact: Lindsay Oliveri, lmoliveri@quinnipiac.edu