HAMDEN, Conn. – The careers of four illustrious senior members of the Quinnipiac softball team were honored before the start of Sunday's doubleheader against Central Conn. St. but the Bobcats couldn't come away victorious on the day, falling 8-0 and 10-2, both ending in five innings. The senior class of shortstop Alex Alba (Sylmar, Calif.), third baseman Bridget Figmic (Stratford, Conn.), first baseman Kortney Kesses (Woodbridge, Conn.) and center fielder Lauren Salgado (Covina, Calif.) were all honored beforehand for their individual efforts and contributions to the team's success through the past four year. Quinnipiac's two losses drop them to 15-31 (8-8 NEC) while the Blue Devils improve to 30-13 (16-4 NEC).
This group of seniors have helped lead to some of the most successful seasons in program history as the Bobcats have made it to the NEC Tournament three straight seasons and compiled 107 victories throughout their careers. Alba will go down as one of the greatest hitters to lace it up in program history as she is currently tied atop to all-time doubles list (43), second in hits (190), fifth in RBI (90), and eight in home runs (13). Figmic, a senior co-captain, has been a true model of consistency with 133 straight starts at the hot corner and is in the midst of a career-year with 31 hits and 18 RBI. Kesses, the other co-captain, has been as versatile as they come, playing at least one game at every position in the field other than pitcher and shortstop for the Bobcats. Finally, Salgado has supplied the speed all four year, ranking third all-time in steals (46) and 11th in hits (134) while appearing in 199 games throughout her career.
The doubleheader today against the Blue Devils was dominated by Central Conn. St. as they were coming in with the second-best record in the conference and winners of seven out of the past eight games. NEC Pitcher of the Year candidate Lauren Messina picked up two victories and limited the Bobcats to just nine hits throughout the 10 innings on Sunday.
Freshman Courtney Solt (Boyertown, Pa.) led the Bobcat offense with three hits in the two games to give her 56 for the season along with the only two RBI for Quinnipiac on the day. She went 2-for-3 in game two to increase her team-leading total to 17multi-hit games this season. Sophomore Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) was the only other Bobcat to record at least one hit in each game of the doubleheader as she had one single in each game.
It was a pitcher's duel early in the afternoon as sophomore Hannah Lindsley (Narragansett, R.I.) and Messina went back-and-forth with just one runner reaching base through the first two innings. After two more outs started the third for Lindsley, both on strikeouts, a fielding error cost her and the Bobcats a chance to get out of the inning unscathed. After Arielle Bruno reached first on the error, Kat Malcolm drove her in all the way from first on a double to right center. Nicole Springer followed with an RBI single to right and that was a precursor to the Blue Devil barrage in the fifth.
Bruno smacked a leadoff home run to begin the top of the fifth for Central followed by a Malcolm single and then Springer doubles this time to score another run. Kelsey Barlow then went deep for the second homer of the inning for the Blue Devils to make it a 6-0 game. Three more runs came in as Bruno once again struck with a run-scoring double to left center that put her team ahead 9-0.
The Bobcats tried fighting back as Paolucci doubled to left center to leadoff the bottom of the fifth and Figmic followed with a single to put two runners in scoring position with no outs but Messina induced two pop outs and a strikeout to finish off the shutout.
Game two played out much like the first outing as a big Blue Devil inning carried them to the eight-run mercy rule ending. Central pushed across one run each in the first two frames before the Bobcats bounced back with a two-run second inning. Paolucci led off with a single and Kesses came through with a one-out single to put two runners on. Salgado then reached on a bunt single to load the bases and with two outs Solt came through with a two-run base knock up the middle to tie the game at 2-2.
This would be the closest the Bobcats would be throughout the afternoon however, as seven runs came across for the Blue Devils in the third inning. The big hit was a Barlow grand slam with two outs that put her team ahead, 9-2.
After one more run came across in the fourth inning for Central, the Bobcats needed one run to extend the game in their half of the fourth and fifth innings but they came up empty and the second game ended in a 10-2 decision.
The Bobcats will have one more non-conference doubleheader on Thursday this weekend against Manhattan before their final games of the 2013 season next weekend at Robert Morris and St. Francis (Pa.).
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com