HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University softball team swept Bryant University in a Northeast Conference doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at the QU Softball Field. After the Bobcats earned a 10-2 victory in six innings, Quinnipiac outlasted Bryant, 2-1, in game two. With the league wins, the Bobcats improve to 28-15 overall and 12-6 in NEC action, while the Bulldogs drop to 18-23 on the year and 9-7 in the conference. QU honored its four seniors prior to the start of game one, including Christy Cabrera (West Sacramento, Calif.), Mina Duffy (Piedmont, Calif.), Ashley Heiberger (Sioux Falls, S.D.) and Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.).
Big bats led Quinnipiac to the sweep of Bryant as the Bobcats outhit the NEC opponent, 19-to-8, overall. The Bobcats combined for 12 RBI while the Bulldogs had three RBI on the afternoon. Additionally, QU's pitchers struck out 14 Bryant batters, while the Bulldogs posted two strikeouts in the two-game set.
Cabrera led the Bobcats to a six-inning win in game one as she pitched a complete game, scattering five hits, five strikeouts and two earned runs. Cabrera improved to 5-7 on the year, while Bryant's Brittany Hart pitched 5 and 2/3 innings as she let up six earned runs and 10 hits.
Overall, the Bobcats outhit the Bulldogs, 13-to-5. Cabrera compiled a game-high four RBI as she went 2-for-4 with a run scored in the first outing. Junior Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.) also contributed two hits, including a three-RBI homer, and was one of three Bobcats with two runs in the contest, while Duffy led the game with three hits.
Bryant took an early 1-0 lead when Laura Bowen homered to right field in the top of the first inning. Duffy led off the bottom of the second with a single to second base. After the Bobcats put two outs on the scoreboard, the next two QU batters were hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Junior Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.) then singled to the shortstop, bringing in Duffy from third base. Cabrera followed with a two RBI double to left field, moving the Bobcats in front of the Bulldogs, 3-1.
After a scoreless third inning, Quinnipiac increased its advantage, 5-1, when Cabrera laced a two RBI single to left field with two outs and runners on first and second base. Junior Bridget Figmic (Stratford, Conn.) and Salgado, who had each reached on singles, tallied runs on the play. Bryant responded with a run in the top of the fifth as Lauren McCart hit an infield single, scoring Alicia Mosesso from second base.
QU's shortstop Alba led off the bottom of the fifth with a hard-hit double to right center, her 14th double of the year. Duffy followed with a single to left field and advanced to second base on the throw. Freshman Nikki Barba (San Diego, Calif.) then stepped up to the plate and drove in Alba from third on a single down the right-field line, widening the gap, 6-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, Quinnipiac stretched its lead, 9-2, on a three-run homer by Alba. The Bobcats managed to load the bases, despite two outs on the scoreboard. Duffy went on to tally the game-ending run as QU's catcher Heiberger was hit by a pitch.
After one inning of play in the second outing of the day, Quinnipiac led Bryant, 2-1. The Bulldogs' Aubrey Mable drove in Lauren Guy on a RBI single to second base.
The Bobcats responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first. Cabrera led off the inning with a single to third base. After Cabrera moved to second base on a Ristow groundout, she crossed home plate as Alba singled to center field. Alba went on to score the game-winner and put the Bobcats ahead, 2-1, when sophomore Katie Alfiere (Beacon Falls, Conn.) launched a single to right field.
Schwartzburg earned her 17th win of the year as she pitched her 19th complete game for the Bobcats. The starting pitcher only allowed three hits as she fanned 10 batters on the afternoon. Bryant's Jennifer Jacob took the loss after she gave up six hits in six innings.
The Bobcats return to action when they host Stony Brook in a non-league doubleheader on Tuesday, May 1. The first game is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. at the QU Softball Field in Hamden, Conn.
Contact: Lindsay Oliveri, firstname.lastname@example.org