Softball Sweeps Hartford In Non-League Series, 4-3 And 5-1

Senior Mina Duffy

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WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University softball team swept the University of Hartford in a non-conference doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon at the Hartford Softball Field. After picking up a 4-3 win in eight innings, the Bobcats went on to defeat the Hawks, 5-1, in the second contest of the two-game set. With the victories, Quinnipiac improves to 26-15 on the year, while Hartford drops to 8-36 overall.

Overall, Quinnipiac outhit Hartford, 20-to-9. Sophomore Katie Alfiere (Beacon Falls, Conn.) led the Bobcats as she went 4-for-6 with one run scored against the Hawks. Three other members of the QU squad compiled three hits on the afternoon, including junior Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.), senior Christy Cabrera (West Sacramento, Calif.) and junior Jacquie Ristow (Seal Beach, Calif.). Senior Mina Duffy (Piedmont, Calif.) paced Quinnipiac with three RBI, while senior catcher Ashley Heiberger (Sioux Falls, S.D.) scored two runs.

Game One

After two scoreless innings, Hartford took the first advantage of the game, 2-0. Erica Phelps and Devynne Butler led off the bottom of the third with back-to-back singles to QU's shortstop Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.). After Phelps and Butler each progressed one base on a Petyon Fisher groundout, both were driven in when Amber Andrews singled up the middle and advanced to third on a Bobcats' throwing error.

Quinnipiac responded with three runs in the top of the fifth to move in front of the Hawks, 3-2. After Alfiere singled to right center, junior Kortney Kesses (Woodbridge, Conn.) advanced Kesses to second on a sacrifice bunt. Alfiere went to third as Heiberger singled to left field and scored when the QU catcher stole second on a Hartford error.  Senior Bridget Figmic (Stratford, Conn.) lined a single up the middle, bringing in Heiberger from second base for the 2-2 draw. Figmic eventually gave the Bobcats' a one-run lead when junior Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.) singled to centerfield.

The Hawks managed to send the contest intro extra innings when Phelps scored her second run of the contest on a Fisher RBI in the bottom of the seventh.

In the next inning, the Bobcats put together a run for the 4-3 victory. QU second baseman Ristow led off the eighth with a double to centerfield.  After three Bobcats were walked, loading the bases, Ristow was able to cross home plate for the game-winner.  Senior Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) earned her 16th win of the season as she retired the first three Hartford batters struck out looking in the bottom of the inning.

Schwartzburg pitched a total of 2.2 innings after she entered the game to relieve Alfiere, who had seen 5.1 innings from within the circle for QU. Together, the Bobcats struck out seven Hartford batters. Schwartzburg allowed one hit and an earned run, while Alfiere scattered four hits and two earned runs.

Game Two

In the second outing of the afternoon, it was the Bobcats who took the first lead. In the top of the third, QU added four runs to the scoreboard. With runners on first and third base, Salgado reached on a Hawks' error, bringing in Heiberger from third. After Alba singled to the Hartford shortstop, Duffy laced a three RBI double to centerfield for the four-run advantage.

Kesses led off the next inning with a triple. Heiberger then reached first as she was hit by a pitch. As Heiberger stole second, Kesses also stole home to widen the gap, 5-0. In the bottom of the sixth, Hartford held Quinnipiac from a shutout as Jackie Kelly launched a homerun.

Cabrera led Quinnipiac as she pitched a complete game to improve to 4-7 on the year. The senior pitcher let up four hits and only one earned run in seven innings, while she fanned three batters.

The Bobcats return to action when they host Northeast Conference foe Bryant University on Sunday, April 29 at the QU Softball Field. The first game of the doubleheader begins at Noon. Quinnipiac will honor its four seniors prior to the start of the twinbill.

Contact: Lindsay Oliveri, lmoliveri@quinnipiac.edu