Quinnipiac’s softball team took the field on a windy Sunday continuing its opening weekend of conference play with a doubleheader against Monmouth University.
Quinnipiac swept the doubleheader and won three out of four games over the weekend, splitting its games with Mount St. Mary’s.
Heather Schwartzburg dominated the Hawks, pitching 11 shutout innings, including a complete-game one-hitter in Game 1 to propel the Bobcats to a 2-0 victory.
“Heather came out real business-like today,” Quinnipiac head coach Germaine Fairchild said. “She’ll do whatever the team needs and if that means going out there and throwing 125 pitches instead of 70, that’s what she’ll do.”
After Schwartzburg’s pitching effort in Game 1, she was needed again in the second. Mina Duffy exited after three innings.
Schwartzburg came in relief and the first batter she faced attempted a squeeze bunt, but shortstop Alex Alba got the force- out at third. Quinnipiac (19-14, 3-1 NEC) then got the next batter to pop out to Alba and completed the escape with a weak ground ball right back to the pitcher.
“When there is no one on, I have the same mentality as I do when I am in a jam,” Schwartzburg said. “I’m aware that the runners are there but I go out and throw my game against the batters like I would if no one else was on.”
Schwartzburg completed the day with 11 innings pitched, seven strikeouts, allowing two hits and five walks, and earned two wins to improve her record to 12-6 on the year and lower her team-leading ERA to 1.69.
The Bobcats hit two home runs en route to their 4-1 victory over Monmouth (12-13, 3-3 NEC).
Freshman Jordan Paolucci hit a solo home run in the third on the first pitch from Lauren Sulick.
Her team-leading sixth homer of the year tied the game at 1. Jacqueline Ristow had the other, a two-run blast over the left-center field fence to put the Bobcats up 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth off Hawks pitcher Dara Palms.
With the two home runs in the game, Quinnipiac now has eleven home runs on the season, six coming off the bat of cleanup hitter Paolucci.
“Jordan is someone who has come in very open minded,” Fairchild said. “She came in with a ton of power and needed just a little bit of refinement on how to unleash it at this level. She’s now applying her adjustments in the game and its working out for her.”
Quinnipiac added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single to center by Christy Cabrera to make it a 4-1 game.
“I give my team credit for playing on the mental side and I think thats where they shined throughout the weekend,” Fairchild said. “Taking it one pitch at a time and getting the small results to add up to one big positive result is what we focused on, and it worked out.”