Softball takes a slide in wet weather

Greg Glynn

On. Off. On. This is probably the best way to describe the Bobcats softball season so far, but it can also be used to describe this weekends games. Due to the heavy rain last week the Bobcats softball field looked more like a pond than a place to play this past weekend.

However, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County had more of an optimistic outlook. The Retrievers had traveled from Maryland to face the Bobcats and wanted to play on Saturday afternoon, no matter how saturated their uniforms were going to get. It was raining like cats and dogs on Saturday morning, and the Bobcats and Retrievers did eventually play. As a result of the poor weather the game was delayed from it’s original 1:00 p.m. start to 3:30 p.m.

The team, unlike like the game, got off to a good start. The teams went scoreless for four plus innings until Quinnipiac’s Elizabeth Moriarty got the Bobcats off on the right paw when she singled to start off the fifth inning. Later in the inning, Elizabeth Euley knocked in Moriarty and put the Bobcats up 1-0.

Despite Euley’s efforts to give the Bobcats the lead, the Retrievers took it for good in the top of the sixth. The Retrievers compiled three runs in the inning capitalizing on three Quinnipiac errors.

UMBC shagged three mores runs in final inning to beat the Bobcats 6-4. The Bobcats showed their character as they battled back for one run in the seventh, but they couldn’t score the tying run, as they stranded a runner on first and eventually lost the game.

Melissa Reynolds, who has had an outstanding season, was the losing pitcher. Reynolds went six and one third innings, struck out three batters, walked two others and allowed six hits.

“She is really the heart and soul of the team, and I think every single person associated with this team would tell you that,” said head coach Germaine Fairchild. “She is the most intense player we have and the hardest working kid we have. She’s an outstanding pitcher and she’s just an junior and she has a lot of bright things ahead of her.”

The soggy Saturday did not benefit the Bobcats as they lost both games of the double header.

Quinnipiac also scored first again in the second half of the series. Sarah Collins smacked a home run over the fence to lead the way for the Bobcats, but UMBC came back and scored four runs in the top of the second frame. The Retrievers once again took advantage of the Bobcats fielding blunders, as the Bobcats had three errors in the inning.

Battling back, the Bobcats crossed the plate once in the fourth and again in the fifth. Jill Cimminello put herself in scoring position as she started the Bobcats half of the fourth inning with a double. Nicole Otten singled and Cimminello was caught in a rundown trying to score. She was tagged out at the end of the crazy sequence of events as Otten advanced to the third and scored later when Liz Moriarty singled.

Euley extended her hitting streak in the game as she reached base. Ashley Morgan later knocked in Euley’s pinch runner Lauren Welch on a single. Despite coming out of the game, Euley ended the second game just a mere triple shy from hitting the cycle.

Kim Norman went the distance for Quinnipiac, pitching a complete game but surrendered seven hits in the loss.

The games continued on Sunday for the team. The day was a little brighter day for the Bobcats with the sun shining and the bats were warmer as well. In the first game of the double header against Mount. St. Mary’s, the Bobcats fell behind early,1-0.

However, the Bobcats came back when Quinnipiac scored two runs in the second half of the inning. Alyssa Mansolf walked, followed by a Collins’ single. Cimminello picked up two RBI when she knocked the two Bobcats in.

Quinnipiac tallied one more run in the sixth, preserving the win for the Bobcats. The Bobcats capitalized on a Mount St. Mary’s error when catcher Danyale Goode threw away a ball on a throw to third base trying to nail Brandi Simon in her attempt to steal. The aggressive play was the Mount’s demise. The ball rolled out into left field, which allowed Simon to score.

The Mount made up for their fielding fiasco in the second game with a high powered offensive attack. The Mount scored an avalanche of runs in the early innings. Sarah Ramsburg and Eileen Williams doubled and the Mount jumped ahead 2-0. The onslaught continued when Ramsburg crossed the plate in the next inning on a Jen Emel sacrifice.

Nicole Otten stopped the bleeding for Quinnipiac with the long ball, as she drilled the sphere over the fence. For Otten, it was her first home-run in a Bobcat uniform and also put the Bobcats on the scoreboard. Starting pitcher Kim Norman helped her cause when she scored Moriarty with a fielder’s choice to short-stop.

Quinnpiac lost the second game 5-2, but despite the Bobcats losing three of four games this weekend head coach Germaine Fairchild believes in her Bobcats.

“We have a lot of young players and what we are learning now, since we have run into a few loses is we have got younger players who have to figure out how to handle school and softball, and keep up with the work outs,” said Fairchild. “It’s a lot to handle but I am sure well get through it…they are learning every time out and our upperclassmen have to pick the team on their shoulders while the younger people figure it out.”

The team will prepare for a tough stretch ahead and conference games are big down the line.

“Doesn’t matter who our opponent is we have to go out and execute the game of softball,” said Fairchild. “We have our back against the wall a bit in here in the conference but, I believe in them they’ve worked hard and they know what they have to do and I believe they will take us there.”