The Quinnipiac softball team, who was picked to finish fourth in the NEC preseason poll, will look to return to the NEC playoffs for the second consecutive season and third time in four year.
Head coach Germaine Fairchild said she’s relying on her entire roster for production this year.
“I just keep telling them to remain excited about the opportunity to come out and contribute,” Fairchild said. “Every player on our team has that chance, on defense and on offense.”
The Bobcats are led by senior Kristin Sheriff and sophomore Jaimie Iaquinto. Sheriff was second on the team last year with 2.73 ERA, while Iaquinto went 4-4 with a 3.27 ERA as a freshman. Senior Carolyn Schmolz rounds off a strong pitching staff, after a solid junior campaign which saw her register 30 strikeouts and hold opponents to just a .228 batting average. Schmolz said she thinks her team has gotten off to a strong start.
“I think were going to do well in conference play,” Schmolz said. “We did really well in Florida for spring training and have beaten some big schools.”
The Bobcats record stands at 10-15, with wins over the likes of Norfolk State, Princeton, George Mason and Indiana.
Schmolz also pointed towards Coach Fairchild’s willingness to play anyone who works hard and earns it. “She’s been stressing us to be prepared and ready to play because there is someone who can take your spot. We have a lot of good players.”
Sophomore catcher/third baseman Katie Allendorfer returns after a freshman campaign in which she committed just two errors. Sophomore Christine Bourdeau was a headache for opponents on the basepaths last season, ranking second in the league with 14 stolen bases.
An injury plagued beginning to the season has Fairchild looking for other players must step up. “Everyone has to pick up that slack. A couple of tough injuries have shaken up our lineup, but expectations are definitely high for us.”
The Bobcats begin conference play this weekend with a pair of home doubleheaders against Long Island on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Wagner on Sunday at 12 p.m.