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Softball dancing with the Devils
The Quinnipiac softball team put the blue in Blue Devils on Sunday afternoon, sweeping Central Connecticut State in a doubleheader in New Britain. The Bobcats took game one, 4-3, and shut out CCSU in game two, 7-0. With the sweep Quinnipiac improves to 9-27 (3-1 NEC), while the Blue Devils fall to 2-24 (0-6 NEC).
After seven innings of game one, the score was knotted at 3-3, forcing extra frames. The Bobcats came to the plate in the top of the eighth and made sure the game wouldn’t last much longer.
Brianna Sloane led off for the Bobcats with a single. After advancing to second on Sara Abbott’s sacrifice bunt, Sloane scored on Maria Browne’s RBI double, giving the ‘Cats a 4-3 lead.
Carolyn Schmolz slammed the door on the Blue Devils in the bottom of the inning and picked up the win in the process. She jumps to 4-8 on the season.
Schmolz tossed the last three innings of the contest, allowing no runs and one hit while striking out four. She took over for in the sixth for Quinnipiac starter Kristin Sheriff, who threw five innings, allowing three runs.
The Bobcats jumped out to a quick start, scoring three runs in the first two innings, highlighted by Sammi Allendorfer’s two-run double in the first inning. The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the fourth when CCSU got a run back on a double and a Bobcat defensive miscue. The Blue Devils tied it up in the next stanza thanks to a two-run homer from Pam Shifrin, making it a 3-3 game.
Neither team scored again until the Bobcats extra inning heroics in the top of the eighth.
Browne and Charron Letarte each contributed three big hits to help Quinnipiac earn the 4-3 victory.
In game two, the ‘Cats would only need seven innings to dispatch their opponent. They scored in four of the seven frames to shut out CCSU, 7-0.
Allendorfer had two hits, including another two-run double and finished the day with fve RBIs. Alyssa Mansolf chipped in with three hits and an RBI of her own. Sarah Collins also had a two-run home run in the bottom of the third to cushion the lead.
On the mound, Jessica Skaare was phenomenal for Quinnipiac. She fired a complete game three-hitter, striking out eight and walking just two. No Blue Devil got farther than second base against her. With the win, she improved to 2-10.
“The sweep of CCSU was huge for us,” Quinnipiac head coach Germaine Fairchild said. “We pulled out a hard fought win in the first game, fueled by the clutch hitting of Maria Browne and Sammi Allendorfer, and the offensive consistency of Alyssa Mansolf and Charron Letarte.”
“In the second game, our bats were alive from the first pitch. All of our hitters got involved after that, including the homerun off the bat of Sarah Collins,” Fairchild said.
The wins propel Quinnipiac into a tie for fourth place in the NEC with Long Island University.
Fairchild knows that Sunday’s sweep was a big step toward earning a postseason berth, but that it was just a small victory in the long run.
“We must continue to take our Northeast Conference schedule one game at a time, as each and every one of our conference opponents fights hard for every game,” she said. “It does not matter how we win; we have to be willing to battle for every win.”
The Bobcats continue their conference schedule with a couple doubleheaders at home this weekend. On Friday, they host Fairleigh Dickinson and Sacred Heart comes to Quinnipiac on Saturday. Games are at 1 and 3 p.m. for both series.