WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – The Quinnipiac University softball team split a Northeast Conference doubleheader against Monmouth University on Sunday afternoon at the MU Softball Park. The Bobcats defeated the Hawks, 6-5, in game one and fell, 4-1, in the second contest of the afternoon. QU now stands at 13-8 overall and 2-2 in NEC play, while Monmouth becomes 9-8 on the year and 2-2 in league action.
Monmouth outhit Quinnipiac, 8-7, in the first match-up. Sophomore Katie Alfiere (Beacon Falls, Conn.) went 2-for-3 with a run scored and one RBI, while junior third baseman Bridget Figmic (Stratford, Conn.) also contributed two hits on three at bats with two RBI. Junior Kortney Kesses (Woodbridge, Conn.) scored a team-leading two runs with one RBI in the first outing.
In game one, QU senior Christy Cabrera (West Sacramento, Calif.) improved to 2-4 on the year as she pitched six innings and struck out four of the 29 batters she faced. Fellow senior Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) earned her first save of the year as she saw one inning from within the circle. Monmouth's Jordan Barnett took the loss after pitching a complete game, allowing two earned runs and a strikeout.
Monmouth took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. With one out on the inning, Tish Derer hit a single and scored from first base when K. Weiser doubled to left center. The Hawks finished the inning with the bases loaded.
Quinnipiac answered with three runs in the top of the second inning. After freshman Nikki Barba (San Diego, Calif.) reached first base on a Monmouth fielding error, Kesses reached on a fielder's choice, placing Bobcats on first and second base. Alfiere and Figmic then hit back-to-back singles, driving in Barba and Kesses to put QU on the scoreboard, 2-0. After Figmic stole second, junior Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.) reached on a fielder's choice, allowing Alfiere to score from third base for the 3-0 lead. Monmouth's Barnett retired the Bobcats next three batters to end the inning.
The Hawks came back and tied the game, 3-3, in the bottom of the inning. With two outs and a runner on third base, Derer singled, driving in Fitzgerald. Kayla Weiser followed with a double to right field, allowing Derer to score the tying run. After a scoreless third inning, Monmouth took back the lead as Christine Scherr homered in the bottom of the fourth, giving the Hawks a 4-3 advantage.
With one out in the top of the fifth and two Bobcats on base, freshman Brittney Cyr (Southington, Conn.) scored from second base as Barba singled to center field. Kesses then reached on a fielder's choice, driving in senior Mina Duffy (Piedmont, Calif.) from third base. After Alfiere walked, Figmic singled through the left side, allowing Kesses to score and put QU ahead, 6-4.
In the sixth, Monmouth's Scheer hit her second homerun of the outing, narrowing the gap by one run, 6-5. However, the Hawks posted three straight outs in the bottom of the seventh inning and were unable to come back, resulting in a QU victory.
QU was outhit, 8-4, in game two of the twinbill as four Bobcats each contributed a hit. Quinnipiac's Schwartzburg received the loss, putting her at 8-2 in her senior campaign, while MU's Lauren Sulick was granted the win after only allowing one unearned run.
After playing one inning in the second contest, Monmouth stood in front of Quinnipiac, 2-1. With two outs and a runner on second base in the top of the first, the Bobcats' Duffy singled to left center, driving in Ristow for an unearned run. The Hawks responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the innings. Weiser drove in Derer for Monmouth's first run on a triple down the right-field line. Weiser then scored as Kate Kuzma reached on a fielder's choice.
Neither squad would score over the next two innings, but Monmouth would widen its lead by three runs, 4-1, as it added two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Kayleena Flores scored off an Alicia Desanto single, who then crossed home plate from third base as Weiser walked with the bases loaded, later in the inning. The Bobcats were unable to score in the remaining three innings.
The Bobcats return to action when they play a pair of non-conference games at Massachusetts on Wednesday, March 28. The first contest is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.
Contact: Lindsay Oliveri, firstname.lastname@example.org