Late Inning Heroics Sends Softball Past Big East Foe UConn, 5-4

Junior Alex Alba

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HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University softball team defeated the University of Connecticut, 5-4, in a non-conference comeback bid on Wednesday afternoon at the QU Softball Field. With the victory, the Bobcats improve to 19-11 overall, while the Huskies drop to 17-15 on the year.

Quinnipiac senior pitcher Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) earned her 12th win of the season as she saw a complete game, striking out six UConn batters and allowing four earned runs. Connecticut's Kiki Saveriano took the loss, dropping to 11-8 on the year, as she let up three earned runs.

The Bobcats were led by sophomore Katie Alfiere, (Beacon Falls, Conn.) who went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while junior Alex Alba's (Sylmar, Calif.) only hit of the game drove in two of QU's five runs. Junior Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.) and senior Ashley Heiberger (Sioux Falls, S.D.) each contributed a hit on the afternoon.

Photos of QU vs. UConn

The Huskies struck first in this one, plating two runs in the top of the second inning. After a leadoff walk to Andrea Huelsenbeck, Kim Silva put the visitors in front with her fifth homerun of the season. The opposite-field shot granted the Huskies an early 2-0 advantage.

The Bobcats answered quickly in the bottom of the frame though, capitalizing on two UConn miscues in the field. Alfiere led off the inning with an infield single, and then advanced to second when Bridget Figmic (Stratford, Conn.) reached on a fielders' choice. Heiberger stepped into the box, sent one back to the pitcher, who threw the ball into right field, which allowed Alfiere to score from second base. The Bobcats were unable to add more to the scoreboard, leaving a 2-1 count after two innings.

After a scoreless third, each team plated one run in the fourth inning. Brittany Duclos launched her first homerun of the season for UConn, while the Bobcats received an RBI single from Heiberger, bringing Alfiere around from second base.

UConn added one more in the top of the fifth, leaving QU behind by two entering the sixth inning. Schwartzburg did her part in the top half, setting the stage for the Bobcats in the bottom of the frame. Alba stepped into the batters' box with two outs and runners on second and third base, and proceeded to lace a two-run, game-tying double down the left field line.

After Alba scampered down to third base on a wild pitch, Salgado looked to give the Bobcats their first lead of the game. It wasn't text book, but Salgado lined the ball to the Husky shortstop, who fumbled the ball, allowing Alba to cross home plate for the game-winning run. Schwartzburg once again kept the Huskies off the scoreboard in the top of the seventh inning, keeping the Bobcats undefeated at home, 4-0.

Quinnipiac returns to action when it hosts Wagner College in a Northeast Conference doubleheader on Saturday, April 14 at 1 p.m. The Bobcats will then travel for a pair of league games at Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday, April 15 with the first game starting at Noon.

Contact: Lindsay Oliveri, lmoliveri@quinnipiac.edu