TOWSON, Md. – A combined seven RBI from junior Nikki Barba (San Diego, Calif.) and sophomore Sydney Robey (Glenmoore, Pa.) unfortunately wasn't enough as the Quinnipiac softball team faltered late in a 9-7 loss to Wagner on Sunday. The Bobcats picked up plenty of run support as Barba and Robey each went deep with a three-run home run and grand slam, respectively, but three runs in the seventh inning for the Seahawks sealed their come-from-behind victory. The loss drops Quinnipiac to 3-18 while their former Northeast Conference counterpart improves to 10-13.
The Bobcats' top four hitters in the lineup all came to play as they combined to go 5-for-12 with seven runs, three walks, two home runs and seven RBI. Sophomore Abby Johnson (Chelmsford, Mass.) started things off strong from her leadoff position going 1-for-3 with two runs and one walk on the day. Sophomore Courtney Solt (Boyertown, Pa.) continued her torrid stretch with a 2-for-3 day with two runs, one walk and two stolen bases. Solt extends her hitting streak to five games while she has picked up three straight multi-hit games as well.
Junior Nikki Barba (San Diego, Calif.) picked up her first home run of the season, a monster three-run blast in the third inning. She also added two runs scored and one walk to add to her impressive all-around day. Finally, sophomore Sydney Robey (Glenmoore, Pa.) continued to supply the power for the Bobcats as she crushed her first career grand slam home run to move her team-leading home run total to four while also bumping her team-best RBI total up to 16 on the season.
The game between former conference foes was a back-and-forth affair that saw Wagner scoring one run each in the first and third innings before Barba lifted a three-run home run up and out of the park to score both Johnson and Solt and give the Bobcats a 3-2 lead after three innings.
The Seahawks stormed back in the fifth inning as they picked up a pair of RBI doubles and followed with a two-run home run off senior Katie Alfiere (Beacon Falls, Conn.) to give them a four-run fifth as well as a 6-3 lead.
Being true to form for Sunday's game, the Bobcats found a way to come back as sophomore Paige Giunta (Downingtown, Pa.) singled to lead off the inning while Solt and Barba both reached before Robey blasted one out to reclaim the lead for Quinnipiac at 7-6.
The Bobcats had a golden opportunity to add some insurance runs in the sixth, as freshman Kathryn Vitale (Cheshire, Conn.) reached on an error and Johnson later singled and stole second base to put two runners in scoring position with just one out. After Solt grounded into a fielder's choice that forced Vitale out at home, Solt stole second base and Barba walked to load the bases for the Bobcats' most dangerous power hitter in Robey but a groundout back to the pitcher ended the inning.
Wagner took advantage of the missed opportunity as Kelsey Parker, reigning Northeast Conference Player of the Week, went deep for a three-run home run that gave the Seahawks the lead for good at 9-7.
Quinnipiac had another potential late inning rally in them as sophomore Dani Edmands (Northborough, Mass.) and junior Hannah Lindsley (Narragansett, R.I.) both singled and then advanced to third on a throwing error from the left fielder to put two runners in scoring position with one out. Despite putting themselves in prime position, Wagner pitcher McKaleigh Goodale came through with back-to-back strikeouts to end the game.
After 21 games away from Hamden, the Quinnipiac softball team will next take on UConn on Thursday, March 27 at 3:30 pm in what will be the Bobcats' 2014 home opener.
Contact: Maxx McNall; email@example.com