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

Quinnipiac softball drops two of three in homecoming, finds solace amid rollercoaster start

Aidan Sheedy
Sophomore infielder Sophia Vega fields a ground ball during a 2-1 win against Iona on April 7.

After starting the season with 20-straight road games, the Quinnipiac softball team returned to Hamden to play its first home games this weekend against Iona. But the homecoming didn’t go exactly as planned, as the Bobcats dropped two of three games in the series.

Quinnipiac’s season has been nothing short of a rollercoaster. The Bobcats started out scorching hot, notching wins in five of their first seven games. But the tides turned. The Bobcats entered the weekend on a six-game losing streak, and an 0-3 start to MAAC play.

Iona pushed the losing streak to eight as the Bobcats lost both games in Saturday’s double-header against the Gaels.

So, what’s the bright side? The Bobcats earned a win with a 2-1 victory to wrap the weekend series, improving to 1-5 in the MAAC.

Despite the team sitting second-to-last in the conference standings, Quinnipiac head coach Hillary Smith hasn’t lost hope.

“We just keep reminding (the team) that we believe in them … We know how good we are,” Smith said. “We’re just getting in our heads a little bit and we don’t know why. We’ve been working really hard to get out of this funk and it was so big to have this close game and be able to step up in big moments, that’s what we’ve been looking for.”

After a rough outing in Saturday’s 7-1 loss, junior pitcher Sydney Horan stepped up on Sunday, throwing a complete game while striking out four Gaels.

Like the rest of the team, Horan has had an up-and-down start to the 2024 campaign, but that didn’t slow her down on Sunday.

“It’s about having a short memory,” Horan said. “Can’t think about yesterday … Forgetting about it and knowing that today is a new day and we have to be stronger if we want to win.”

Horan faced adversity late in the game, but she got out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth, and then forced a flyout to end the game.

“I was just taking some deep breaths,” Horan said. “I know that behind me is a very good field, I have a lot of confidence in our fielding … knowing they’re behind me definitely helps.”

The Bobcats’ ability to close out Sunday’s game was a massive step forward from a day prior, where they held a late 6-5 lead, but weren’t able to hold on and lost the second game 7-6.

“We focused on being calm and collected, it’s not something we did yesterday, but we were able to do it today,” Smith said.

If the Bobcats want to make a run at the six-team postseason — a feat they haven’t achieved since joining the MAAC in 2012 — they need to get more out of their offense. The Bobcats have scored two runs or fewer in seven of their last nine contests.

However, Quinnipiac built its non-conference schedule to prepare the teamto compete in conference play, facing two power five opponents (Boston College and Syracuse), while also participating in three invitational tournaments.

“This is probably the hardest schedule I’ve set up for them leading into conference play,” Smith said. “The reason we did that is we wanted to prepare them. We wanted them to see they can play great competition and you can compete and you can win. We were hitting the power five teams, we were playing good games, we know we can compete with anybody.”

The schedule doesn’t get much easier for the Bobcats, as the team will once again hit the road to play multiple series against MAAC opponents. Quinnipiac traveled to New Jersey for a three-game series against St. Peter’s on April 9 — winning the first two games on Tuesday — before heading further south to Maryland to meet Mount St. Mary’s for another trio of games this weekend.

Smith hopes the Bobcats can take the momentum from Sunday’s win into the road trip.

“Now the fun part starts for us. We get to do what we love and we get to play,” Smith said. “I know we’re going to take what we did here and keep building on that.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Aidan Sheedy
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 *