Fairfield hurler keeps Bobcats’ bats in check

Curtis Conroy

Quinnipiac freshman pitcher Alex Alba shut down the Fairfield Stags’ offense, striking out eight over six innings, but was unable to deliver with the bat in a crucial seventh-inning rally as the Bobcats were shut out 1-0.

With the bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the seventh, Alba (2-for-5) grounded out to shortstop to end the game, wasting her own dominance on the mound.

“I had confidence throughout the whole game,” Alba said. “I was actually talking to the third baseman, I was telling her, we are going to win this, we’re going to come back. I mean we’ve come back from a lot of behind games, so I had confidence in my team.”

The freshman only gave up four hits, but Quinnipiac couldn’t get a run across against Fairfield starter Kelli Panter (5-4), who scattered eight hits in a complete-game effort.

The game got off to a rocky start for Alba during the first inning. An error, a steal and an RBI single resulted in Fairfield’s only run. After another single and a brief conference on the mound, Alba began to find her spots, ending the inning with two strikeouts.

“She pitched amazing. I’m really, really proud of her,” Quinnipiac head Coach Germaine Fairchild said. “She understood she had to keep the ball down, and the couple of times she didn’t, she was able to make a quick adjustment and got it back down.”

The Bobcats offensive fell short several times throughout the game as eight hits failed to produce a single run. Quinnipiac left runners on base in five innings, including leaving runners in scoring position in the first, fourth, fifth and seventh.

The Bobcats nearly rallied in the bottom of the seventh. Heather Maffeo’s single followed by two fielder’s choices left Alex Murray on first.  Lauren Salgado and Katie Allendorfer both singled to load the bases for Alba, giving her the chance to avoid a tough luck loss. However, the freshman, like the rest of her teammates, could not produce the big hit with runners in scoring position.

The loss to Fairfield pushes the Bobcats below .500, dropping their record to 18-19.  Quinnipiac heads to New Jersey on Saturday to face Monmouth at 1 p.m.

Photo credit: Amanda Shulman