Bobcats roughed up in round-robin: weekend losses sum up season at halfway point

Ethan Hurwitz, Associate Sports Editor

Graduate student infielder and outfielder Kayla Jensen was confident that the 2022 version of Quinnipiac softball would be better than prior years.

“I don’t think people are going to see what’s coming this year. Our team this year has been stronger than it’s ever been,” Jensen said.

To give her some credit, she’s right, although not by much. Last year, they were 1-8 come late March.

Now? 4-14. That equates to a .222 winning percentage, the same as last season’s.

Granted, 2022 has provided a much bigger sample size thus far, but it shows that Quinnipiac has struggled in recent weeks. This weekend’s round-robin against Hartford and Maine showcased just that.

Saturday was a day to forget as Quinnipiac dropped both games, losing 9-4 to Hartford and 8-4 to Maine — the latter ending early due to rain — dropping its record to 3-11. In the two matchups, the Bobcats only mustered 11 hits total, including sophomore infielder Kayla Thomas’ fourth home run of the season. Another positive was junior infielder Lala Pascual, who had six RBIs in the first two games.

“She’s excellent right now, we rely on her a lot,” Quinnipiac assistant coach Mandie Perez said on Sunday. “She’s peaking at the right time.”

The next day, Thomas was forced into an uncomfortable spot, as senior catcher Hannah Davis did not play due to injury. Thomas showed off her versatility and suited up behind the plate for both of Sunday’s games.

“Sometimes you may have to do things or play a position based on whatever the team’s need is in that moment,” Thomas said.

The first game, against the Black Bears, was against Maine freshman pitcher Alexandra Gruitch. She toed the rubber with a 10.32 ERA, and the pitching matchup seemed to be exactly what the doctor ordered for the Bobcats and their cold bats. But Gruitch had her best game of her collegiate career, throwing 5.1 quality innings.

Once Gruitch was removed, the Bobcats pounced on Maine’s bullpen and found a way to squeak by 3-2. Now, did the Bobcats use that come-from-behind win to spur another good game against the Hartford Hawks?


They were blanked 4-0, while only registering five hits all game. Quinnipiac couldn’t scratch a run across for the sixth time this season, something the team needs to fix if it wants to climb back in the MAAC standings and make a run in the playoffs.

While the season has not been one to write home about, the biggest bright spot of the year is the pitching duo of Jaclyn Gonzalez and Sydney Horan. The freshmen have been the two mainstays of the rotation (78.1 combined innings) and have been the backbone of a staff that had its work cut out entering the campaign.

“We have a young staff,” Perez said. “Whenever their name is called, they are ready to go.”

Gonzalez was the star of the weekend’s sole win, throwing four innings and earning her first career win. Horan also recorded her first career save in the same game, a testament to the importance of these freshmen.

“All of us together make a great pitching staff because we are able to use each of our different strengths to keep other teams off balance,” Horan said. “We all have each other’s backs and have been able to support one another through a lot with the help of some amazing team leaders.”

Both Gonzalez and Horan have been superb, but the rest of the team needs to follow in their footsteps with the season almost halfway over.

The Bobcats have a one-game trip to 3-23 CCSU March 30 and then will go on a four-game road trip to New York to begin conference play against 9-10 Canisius and 4-7 Niagara.