Quinnipiac softball splits doubleheader with UMass Lowell

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Quinnipiac softball splits doubleheader with UMass Lowell

Photo: Emma Robertson

Photo: Emma Robertson

Photo: Emma Robertson

Photo: Emma Robertson

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The Quinnipiac softball team (10-16 overall, 0-0 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) split its doubleheader against the University of Massachusetts Lowell (6-16 overall, 0-0 America East Conference) on Sunday, marking their second consecutive split this weekend.

“We’re in the same spot as we were yesterday,” Quinnipiac head coach Jill Karwoski said. “We’re playing well, looking forward to the conference and still trying to iron out a few bugs defensively and offensively.”

In Game 1, the Bobcats rallied behind pitching ace Casey Herzog. Herzog threw a complete game, giving up the one run on a home run by the River Hawks catcher Sara Siteman. Herzog was able to help her team get out of a bases-loaded jam twice with a strikeout.

“As much as this is a team game, when you’re on the mound…there’s nothing else like it,” Herzog said. “It’s on you.”

Her six strikeouts on the day bring her career total up to 400, making her the second all-time leader in strikeouts in Quinnipiac softball history.

“I honestly didn’t even know until you just told me!” Herzog said, laughing. “I just try to work on my basics and if it happens, it happens.”

Herzog is responsible for nine out of Quinnipiac’s 10 wins this season. She currently sits on a six-game win streak with a 1.24 ERA.

“I tell Casey probably once, if not two or three times a year, that I wish there were nine of you,” Karwoski said. “I wish we had nine Casey’s on the field every day because she is the kind of player that can carry the team on her back. Any milestone she hits is completely well-deserved.”

The Bobcats were able to secure a win in game one of the doubleheader with the help of senior outfielder Keilani Finley. Finley rocketed a two-out double into the left-center gap, adding two RBIs to her stat bar.

“It felt really good,” Finley said. “We had been chipping away, needing to make minor adjustments…myself included. Casey had already been pitching a good game, so it felt good to finally move over those runners because we were chipping away, we just had to execute.”

Finley held the second highest batting average on the team going into the doubleheader, sitting comfortably at .338. She went 1-for-5 on the day but grabbed a hit at a key moment to propel the Bobcats to a 2-1 victory in game one.

“I know that if I’m doing work on my end, I have more than enough confidence that they can do it on their end as well,” Herzog said.

The momentum of game one did not carry over into game two for Quinnipiac. Junior pitcher Kendall Brundrett started for the Bobcats, and only lasted 2.1 innings. Brundrett gave up six hits and nine runs, only three of which were earned. The River Hawks were able to capitalize on a couple of Bobcat infielder errors, allowing them to win 9-0 in five innings.

“I think all we really need to do is remember the basics,” Finley said. “Sometimes it’s really just mental, it’s not something physical that you need to fix. We’ve been struggling in the second game, but it’s not anything we can’t fix. We just need to keep practicing, keep working hard and work through it.”

Quinnipiac has struggled in the second game of doubleheaders as of late. However, they’re still in the process of settling players into their roles and solidifying a strong lineup to challenge opponents. Like most teams, Quinnipiac has faced injuries that have affected their lineup.

“We have two key players out right now,” Karwoski said. “We’re trying to really solidify that 2-3-4 spot. With those players out, we just haven’t been able to do that. This week, our goal is to get them healthy and to find out how to break that pattern in the second game.”

The Bobcats will enjoy home-field advantage for another doubleheader before heading out on the road again. They are scheduled to face Brown University (6-10 overall, 1-1 Ivy League Conference) on Wednesday, March 28 at 2 p.m.