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CLEARWATER, Fla. – The Quinnipiac softball team had their opponent right where they wanted them in the seventh inning, down one run with the bases loaded and one out, but the prime opportunity came and went as a game-ending double play sealed the win for Wisconsin-Green Bay, 3-2, over the Bobcats from the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex. The Bobcats' loss drops them to 2-14 on the season while the Phoenix win their seventh straight and improve to 7-1.
The loss was a tough one to swallow for the Bobcats as sophomore Sydney Robey (Glenmoore, Pa.) chipped in another solid start to go along with her team-leading 10th RBI while juniors Nikki Barba (San Diego, Calif.) and Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) each reached base safety three times in four plate appearances on Saturday.
Wisconsin-Green Bay strung together a couple of early runs as they led 2-0 after four innings of play. The Bobcats were not short of opportunities in the first couple innings, however, as sophomore Abby Johnson (Chelmsford, Mass.) and Paolucci each singled to leadoff the first and second inning, respectively. In each inning, the following batter successfully sacrificed them over into scoring position but in each case that was as far as they would advance as Quinnipiac went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position in the first two innings of play.
After another 0-for-2 inning with runners in scoring position for the Bobcats in the fourth inning, they finally capitalized on an opportunity as two walks and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with two outs for Robey. The sophomore standout was also hit-by-pitch which allowed junior Brittney Cyr (Southington, Conn.) to score from third base to make it a 2-1 game.
Green Bay got a run back in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI single from Stacey Butts that proved to be the eventual game-winning run as the final two innings were pressure-packed for both teams on offense.
Quinnipiac's top half of the sixth inning appeared lackluster at first as the Bobcats started the frame with two consecutive outs. Senior Katie Alfiere (Beacon Falls, Conn.) helped prolong the inning as she induced a walk and Cyr then added to the drama with a walk to put Alfiere into scoring position. But once again the threat went unconverted as a groundout back to the pitcher ended the inning.
After Alfiere forced a groundout to first with a Green Bay runner on second base to end the bottom of the sixth, the Bobcats went into their final inning needing two runs to prolong the game. The Bobcats started the inning with plenty of momentum as sophomore Courtney Solt (Boyertown, Pa.) reached on an error followed by a Barba single up the middle. Paolucci walked with one out to load the bases for sophomore Dani Edmands (Northborough, Mass.) who picked up a run-scoring single through the left side of the infield to make it 3-2.
With the bases still loaded and just one out, the Bobcats sent junior Hannah Linsley (Narragansett, R.I.) to the plate. She took a pitch before lining a sharply hit ball that would have certainly rolled into the outfield had it not been directed straight towards the Green Bay third baseman who gloved the rocket shot, flung the ball to home for the first out and then on to first for the game-ending double play.
The Bobcats struggles for the day with runners in scoring position came back to bite them as the team went a combined 1-for-11 on the day.
Robey took the hard luck loss on the mound as she battled through five innings of work allowing six hits, three runs (two earned) and four walks. She was at her best with runners on-base as she and Alfiere (1 inning, 0 runs, 1 walk) combined to leave nine Phoenix runners on-base throughout their six innings of work.
Quinnipiac concludes their 12-game stint in 10 days down in Florida with a matchup against Rutgers tomorrow morning at 11:15 am.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com