Softball Opens 2012 Campaign At Longwood Spring Classic This Weekend

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Complete Game Notes

Longwood Spring Classic
Lancer Field – Farmville, Va.
Quinnipiac University Bobcats (0-0, 0-0 NEC)
Iona College Gaels (3-1, 0-0 MAAC)
Saint Peter’s College Peahens (0-0, 0-0 MAAC)

Quinnipiac Game Schedule
Saturday, February 25, 2012

Quinnipiac vs. Iona – 11:30 a.m.
Quinnipiac vs. St. Peter’s – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Quinnipiac vs. Iona – 9:15 a.m.
Quinnipiac vs. St. Peter’s – 11:30 a.m.

Opening Weekend For The Bobcats
The Quinnipiac University softball team opens the 2012 season when it travels to Longwood University to compete in the Longwood Spring Classic in Farmville, Va. this weekend. The Bobcats play a pair of games on Saturday, Feb. 25 and Sunday, Feb. 26. On Saturday, Quinnipiac takes on Iona College at 11:30 a.m. and Saint Peter’s College at 4 p.m. The Bobcats will play Iona and Saint Peter’s again on Sunday, at 9:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., respectively.

Multimedia
Live stats will be available for all games at the 2012 Longwood Spring Classic. Fans can watch live stats by clicking on the appropriate links on the Quinnipiac softball schedule at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.

A Look At Iona
Two-time defending MAAC Champion Gaels were recently selected to win the 2012 MAAC Championship  The Gaels enter the weekend at 3-1 on the year after participating in the Stetson Lead-Off Classic on Feb. 11-12, where they picked up three non-conference wins. Iona opened tournament action against Samford with a 1-0 victory, prior to falling to Stetson, 8-2. The Gaels shut out South Dakota, 9-0, in a five-inning contest, before sweeping Samford with a 2-1 win. Jodi Peterson has collected a team-high five hits this year, while Eileen McCann has contributed a team-leading nine total bases, four runs and two homers at 12 at bats. McCann and Katie Jannson have each recorded three RBI. Sarah Jackson pitched 12 innings to start the season at 2-0 from the mound after striking out 18 batters, while she allowed only seven hits.

Scouting Saint Peter’s
Last year, Saint Peter’s finished the 2011 season at 2-36 overall and 1-5 in the MAAC. This season, the Peahens were selected ninth in the MAAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Peahens return juniors Alexis Gallagher and Shelby Beaver, who led the team’s offensive efforts during last year’s campaign. Gallagher, an outfielder, collected 24 hits, nine runs and four RBI, while Beaver contributed 23 hits, three runs and a team-high 10 RBI and 30 total bases. Fellow classmate Stephanie Gilronan led the Peahens with 12 runs last season. Beaver, a right-handed pitcher, led Saint Peter’s from the mound as she went 2-19 and posted a 6.72 ERA.

Preseason Picks
The Bobcats were recently selected to finish second in the 2012 Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll, as announced by the league on Feb. 14. The defending NEC regular season champion Robert Morris was picked as the favorite to win this year’s title, as they received six first-place votes, while QU garnered three first-place nods. Last season’s NEC tournament champion Sacred Heart was tabbed third in the poll, while Bryant was chosen fourth, followed by LIU Brooklyn and Central Conn. St. in the fifth and sixth positions, respectively. Monmouth landed seventh as it received a first-place vote, while Fairleigh Dickinson was picked eight and Wagner followed in the ninth spot. Mount St. Mary’s and Saint Francis (Pa). rounded out the field.

Early Honors
College Sports Madness, a collegiate athletics website, named four members of the QU softball team to its 2012 All-NEC Preseason teams in early January of this year. Senior pitcher Heather Schwartzburg was named Pitcher of the Year and received first-team honors, alongside fellow teammates, junior Jacquie Ristow and sophomore Jordan Paolucci. Junior outfielder Lauren Salgado was named All-NEC second team in the website’s poll.

A Look At Last Year
Quinnipiac finished the 2011 season at 32-26 overall and 13-7 in league action as the Bobcats’ clinched the third seed in its second consecutive trip to the NEC Tournament. Despite advancing to the championship round, Sacred Heart was crowned champion, after the game was canceled due to poor weather conditions, as it the Pioneers boasted an undefeated record in tournament play.

2011 Award Winners
Last season, the QU saw several Bobcats receive postseason awards. Heather Schwartzburg was named the 2011 NEC Pitcher of the Year, while Jordan Paolucci earned Rookie of the Year. Both Bobcats were also selected to the All-NEC first team and NFCA All-Region second team. Additionally, Jacquie Ristow garnered All-NEC second team honors. After participating in the 2011 NEC Tournament, Paolucci and Mina Duffy were chosen to the All-Tournament team.

Record Breaking Bobcats
Two Bobcats saw record-breaking performances during the 2011 campaign. Heather Schwartzburg broke the Quinnipiac single-season record for wins, as well as the university and league’s single-season strikeout record, ending the year with 22 wins and 296 strikeouts. Jordan Paolucci set a new program record of 15 homeruns during her rookie season. 

A Crew Of Captains
QU softball head coach Germaine Fairchild announced a trio of captains for the upcoming 2012 season. Seniors Heather Schwartzburg, Ashley Heiberger, and Christy Cabrera have each been selected to lead the Bobcats in 2011-12. Schwartzburg has remained a consistent leader from the mound in three years with QU, while Heiberger and Cabrera made an immediate impact in their first season with the Bobcats last year.

Notes On The Newcomers
In addition to a squad of 13 letter winners, the Bobcats welcome three freshmen, including Nikki Barba, a utility player from San Diego, Calif., Brittney Cyr, an outfielder and Southington, Conn. native, and pitcher Hannah Lindsley from Narragansett, R.I.

What’s Ahead For The Bobcats
Quinnipiac returns to action when it plays a doubleheader at nonconference opponent Manhattan on Wednesday, Feb. 29 starting at 2 p.m. The Bobcats will then compete in three tournaments throughout the month of March, including the USF Tournament in Tampa, Fla., the UC Riverside Tournament in Riverside Calif., and the SDSU Classic II in San Diego, Calif. After playing a pair of games at Harvard in late March, QU opens conference play at Mount St. Mary’s and Monmouth on March 25-26, prior to playing Massachusetts in a two-game tilt on March 28. The Bobcats host their home opener against league foe Sacred Heart on April 1.

Contact: Lindsay Oliveri, lmoliveri@quinnipiac.edu