MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Senior Ashley Heiberger (Sioux Falls, S.D.) lifted a sacrifice fly in the top of the 12th inning on Friday afternoon to send the #2 seeded Quinnipiac University softball team past #1 Robert Morris, 4-3, in a thrilling Northeast Conference Semifinal match-up in Moon Township, Pa. With the win, the Bobcats advance to the tournament finals tomorrow afternoon, taking on #3 LIU Brooklyn at 12:30 p.m. QU needs to defeat the Blackbirds twice in order to hoist the trophy at the end of the day.
With the game knotted a three apiece after regulation, Quinnipiac (32-17) and Robert Morris (35-22) played several scoreless innings until the top of the 12th frame. Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.) led off the inning with a base-hit and moved on over to second on a sacrifice bunt from Mina Duffy (Piedmont, Calif.). Nikki Barba (San Diego, Calif.) prolonged the rally with a base-hit and then stole second base, leaving second and third with one out. Heiberger laced a 2-2 pitch into center field, allowing Alba to come across for the go-ahead run. Heather Schwartzburg (Mission Viejo, Calif.) kept the Colonials off of the scoreboard in the last half, propelling the Bobcats into the Championship game.
Katie Alfiere (Beacon Falls, Conn.) and Schwartzburg combined to go all 12 innings in the circle for the Bobcats. Alfiere, who started the game, allowed one run on three hits over 2.1 innings of work. Schwartzburg relieved Alfiere and pitched the rest of the way. She went 9.2 innings, allowed seven hits, two runs (0 earned) and struck out 11 for her 20th win of the season.
The elimination contest featured a pair of scoreless innings to begin the 12-inning marathon. However, in the top of the third inning, Quinnipiac got the bats going to generate the game's first runs. Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.), Christy Cabrera (West Sacramento, Calif.) and Jacquie Ristow (Seal Beach, Calif.) each reached base with consecutive singles to load the bases. Alba stepped into the batters' box and lined a base-hit up the middle for a 1-0 lead, followed by a one-out, base-knock from Barba for a 2-0 lead. The Bobcats tacked on one more when Kourtney Kesses (Woodbridge, Conn.) was hit by a pitch, leaving a 3-0 advantage after the top half of the inning.
Robert Morris got one run back in the bottom half of the third inning and then two more in the bottom of the sixth. The Colonials stranded 15 runners on base throughout the game.
Six Bobcats registered multiple hit games including: Cabrera, Ristow, Alba, Duffy, Barba and Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.). Heiberger and Kesses rounded out the 14 hits for Quinnipiac.
For more information regarding the Quinnipiac University softball program, please visit www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.
Contact: Tony Distasio; firstname.lastname@example.org