Horan throws five shutout innings, Quinnipiac defeats Merrimack 3-2


Peyton McKenzie

Sophomore pitcher Sydney Horan threw five shutout innings in her 20th appearance of the year.

Zack Hochberg, Staff Writer

HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac softball team defeated Merrimack 3-2 Thursday afternoon, snapping a three-game losing streak. Sophomore pitcher Sydney Horan threw five shutout innings, while senior outfielder Serena Fogg drove in two runs, helping the Bobcats to the non-conference victory. 

The Warriors got the first two runners on base in the first inning, but Horan was able to work her way out of the inning, sitting down the ensuing three batters. 

Horan cruised through the three following innings allowing zero hits. However, she didn’t get any run support. 

That changed in the fourth. 

Graduate student utility Bridget Nasir opened the inning with a leadoff double, followed by a sac bunt from freshman infielder Natalia Apatiga to move Nasir over to third. After a groundout, senior infielder Lala Pascual stepped to the plate with two outs in the inning. The Florida native delivered for the hosts, as a base hit up the middle sent Nasir trotting home to put Quinnipiac on the board first. 

The scoring did not stop there. After her base hit, Pascual was able to advance to third on a passed ball, later scoring after Fogg ripped a line-drive into center. 

With some run support, Horan continued to dominate, striking  out two of the four batters she faced in the top of the fifth.

With a MAAC double-header against Iona set for Friday, the Bobcats pulled the plug on Horan after five, replacing her with sophomore pitcher Jaclyn Gonzalez. 

Merrimack jumped on the opportunity to face a different pitcher, hanging two runs on Gonzalez in the sixth to tie the game. Senior utility Courtney Lanpher got the Warrior rally started with a walk and then found herself on second following a wild pitch. Then, freshman designated hitter Sydney Samuel’s deep fly off her bat collided with the top of the outfield wall which enabled Lanpher to score with ease. Samuel became the second Warrior of the inning to touch home two batters later when freshman outfielder Madison Metcalf singled to right. 

Gonzalez worked her way out of the remainder of the inning, but the damage was done and the Warriors erased the Bobcats lead. 

Quinnipiac struck back in the bottom half of the frame to regain the lead. 

The Fogg/Pascual duo continued to make life hard for the Warriors in the sixth. With two outs in the inning, Pascual reached base with a single, and on the ensuing at-bat, Fogg drove her home with a base-hit into left, allowing Pascual to score as freshman outfielder Alex Miller had trouble making the play.

Following a rocky sixth, Gonzalez settled in. The California product retired the side in order to secure the Bobcat victory. 

Quinnipiac will return to action on Friday when it hosts Iona for a MAAC double header starting at 2 p.m. The second game will be at 4 p.m.