Quinnipiac softball loses to Hartford and Maine in round-robin doubleheader on Saturday

Seth Fromowitz and Ryan Raggio

Game 1: Hartford (Ryan Raggio)

The Quinnipiac softball team lost to Hartford 9-4 in its first game of the weekend round-robin.

In the top half of the second inning, Hartford scored two runs from an RBI double to the right-center gap, just out of the reach of freshman Brooke Hilliard, by Hawks junior Samantha Nagel and a sacrifice fly by senior shortstop Paige Fedak. The Bobcats answered back in the bottom of the inning. Junior first baseman Lala Pascual sent a rocket down the left-field line for a double, clearing the bases and giving the Bobcats a 3-2 lead.

In the top of the third inning, the Hawks tied the game after an RBI single by freshman left fielder Samantha Ganaden. With two outs in the inning and a runner on second base, Bobcat junior shortstop Cy Gonzalez jumped high in the air and snagged a line drive to end the inning. The Hawks took the lead in the fourth after senior first baseman Haley Cassidy ripped an RBI single to left field. The score would remain 4-3 Hawks until the sixth inning.

The Hartford offense capitalized on errors and mental mistakes made by the Quinnipiac defense increasing its lead by three. The Hawks scored one run off of an error in the infield. After a single by Fedak, the Hawks had two runners on base. Hilliard, who was switched to second base from center field, kept the game 4-3 after she threw a dart to the catcher to get Fedak out at the plate.

Cassidy popped out in foul territory to Pascual, who then attempted to double up sophomore Chandler Mitchell on first, but she was safe, and it allowed the runner on third to score. Hartford freshman Olivia Wolk hit a line drive to center field, bouncing in and out of the glove of Quinnipiac sophomore Gianna Palmisano allowing another run to score.

The Bobcats would get a run back in the bottom half of the inning after an RBI single laced up the middle by Pascual making the score 7-4. Pascual would finish the game 2-3 while driving in all four of the Bobcats’ runs.

Heading into the top of the seventh inning, the Hawks would hit two home runs on back-to-back pitches. The home runs were hit by senior Kelsey Galevich and junior Mara Sczecienski. The Bobcats were trailing by five runs going into the bottom of the seventh inning. Hilliard continued her hitting streak to three games with a single to left field.

Over the last three games including this one, Hilliard is batting .600 (6-10) with two RBIs, two walks and a stolen base. The Bobcats look to end their losing streak against Maine (3-19) today at 2:30 p.m.

Game 2: Maine (Seth Fromowitz)

The Quinnipiac softball team fell to 3-13 after two losses on Saturday. (Jack Spiegel)

In game two of Quinnipiac’s doubleheader following its 9-4 loss against Hartford, the Bobcats couldn’t find their groove. They dropped their second game of the day, 8-4, after it ended short due to rain in the sixth inning.

Freshman pitcher Jaclyn Gonzalez got the starting nod for the Bobcats, going for four innings of work before being replaced by freshman Sydney Horan.

Maine struck first against Quinnipiac using a small-ball style of play with a sacrifice bunt by senior center fielder Kya Ennos to score senior left fielder Brianna Neely in the first inning. The play was followed with a sacrifice fly to right field by senior catcher Keely Clark that scored junior first baseman Izzy Nieblas in the second inning for a Black Bears’ lead of 2-0.

The Bobcats fought back as sophomore catcher Kayla Thomas launched a pitch over the left field wall for her fourth home run of the season to shorten Maine’s lead 2-1.

The third inning looked to go in Quinnipiac’s favor as the Bobcats escaped without allowing a run due to the help of a 3-6 double play by junior first baseman Lala Pascual. After Pascual, senior shortstop Bridget Nasir made the out in foul territory as well as cutting down the runner looking to tag from first.

Also in the third inning, Pascual gave Quinnipiac its first lead of the game with a two-run double to center that scored junior infielder Cy Gonzalez and Nasir for a 3-2 lead.

However, Maine retook the lead 4-3 after Clark cleared the bases with a two-run single in the fourth inning.

As Horan entered the game to start the fifth inning, the Bobcats found some struggle on defense as Maine hit into the gaps to extend their lead. After the throw to the plate went by Thomas and to the backstop, senior shortstop Kelby Drews rounded the bases bringing the Black Bear lead to 7-3.

In the bottom half of the inning, Quinnipiac showed some life after Thomas cut Maine’s lead 7-4 with an RBI-double as rain started to pick up.

Maine put on one more run in the form of freshman designated hitter Gabby Papushka double for an 8-4 lead before sophomore Tori McGraw replaced Horan after 1.2 innings of work.

As Quinnipiac looked to start a sixth-inning comeback, rain and hail found their way to the field, forcing a delay and ultimately the conclusion of the game. Maine ended the day with an 8-4 victory.

The Bobcats will return to active March 27, to take on Maine again at 9:30 a.m. followed by Hartford at 2:30 p.m..