The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Four takeaways from Quinnipiac softball’s opening weekend series split

Sixth-year+catcher+Hannah+Davis+catches+a+pitch+from+behind+the+plate+for+Quinnipiac+softball.
Aidan Sheedy
Sixth-year catcher Hannah Davis catches a pitch from behind the plate for Quinnipiac softball.

Despite originally being scheduled to face Arkansas Pine-Bluff to start the 2024 year, the Quinnipiac softball team had to reroute to Commerce, Texas for Friday’s season-opening doubleheader.

The Bobcats — who began the year with a 10-4 win over UMass Lowell and a 3-2 loss against Texas A&M – Commerce — are now 1-1 after this year’s Lion Classic and will now be off until March 1.

Here are four takeaways from Quinnipiac’s opening weekend series and what it could mean for the rest of the season. 

 

Offensive Fireworks:

In the Bobcats’ first real game action since last spring, the offensive onslaught found its groove midway through game one.

Down 3-2 heading into the top half of the fifth, Quinnipiac lit up River Hawks graduate starter Ryley White. Thanks to RBI singles from sophomore infielder Natalia Apatiga and freshmen third baseman Lauren Hilliard and catcher Riley Potter, the visitors reclaimed the lead. They later tacked on five more after multiple Bobcats reached base safely, including a two-run single from sophomore outfielder and reigning All-MAAC first teamer Mary Fogg.

In the second leg of the double header, it was more of the same for Apatiga. The Corona, California, native went 2-3 against Texas A&M – Commerce, including an RBI single, to help lead Quinnipiac in hits and runs batted in for the game.

The offense continued in the second game, as the Bobcats racked up six hits (18 over a two-game stretch) and forced the Lions into uncomfortable defensive situations late in the game. 

 

Freshmen Fast Out The Gate:

If the softball program wants to make the MAAC Tournament for the first time in program history, the youngsters on the team will need to step up. And step up they did on Saturday. 

The aforementioned Hilliard and Potter both combined for three hits in the two games, with Hilliard throwing 3.0 innings en route to her first collegiate win over the River Hawks. 

In addition, freshman catcher Abby LaClair notched her first two collegiate hits, including an RBI double in the top half of the fifth inning in game two.

 

Pitching Off The Rust:

For junior pitchers Jaclyn Gonzalez and Sydney Horan, it was a chance to shake off the offseason rust. Gonzalez — the game one starter — cruised for the first few innings before loading the bases and getting pulled for Horan in the fourth. 

Two runners scored for the River Hawks, both of which were charged to Gonzalez, and would later be removed after the Bobcats had built a seven-run lead in the top half of the fifth. 

Horan, who took the ball for the second game, pitched 6.0 innings in her season debut. Eight hits, scattered alongside two defensive errors, was good for her sixth-straight game of three or less runs allowed (dating back to May 1 of last season).

Facing Texas A&M – Commerce, who were just coming off a 6-1 win over Stonehill, was no small task. The Lions hit the ball hard all night, some right at the defense and some all the way to the fence. Horan also recorded six strikeouts, her most since beating Merrimack on April 20, 2023.

 

New Season, New Uniforms:

To kick off the 2024 schedule, the team broke out a new uniform. Instead of an all-navy jersey/pants combo, the Bobcats were sporting a two-toned navy/baby blue jersey with gold lettering on the front and back. 

The softball program is just one of several teams to get new uniforms this past season, joining the likes of women’s soccer, volleyball, women’s ice hockey and women’s basketball. 

It’s unknown if these are a one-time thing or if the team will break them out in Hamden for their home opener against Iona on April 6. With that being said, the Bobcats are off to a .500 start, so it can’t hurt to try again.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Ethan Hurwitz, Sports Editor
Aidan Sheedy, Photography Editor

Comments (0)

All The Quinnipiac Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *