Quinnipiac softball looks to continue win streak against Niagara

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Photo: Liz Flynn

Photo: Liz Flynn

The Quinnipiac Bobcats (14-17 overall, 3-1 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) will play host to the Niagara University Purple Eagles (8-20 overall, 1-2 MAAC) in the second of two Doubleheaders this weekend in Hamden. The Bobcats swept their first series at home against Canisius on Saturday, winning the first game 10-2 in five innings and completed the sweep with a 6-2 win in the second game. The Purple Eagles enter Hamden coming off a split series at Marist on Saturday.

Players to Watch

Quinnipiac: Erin Larsen and Casey Herzog

To say senior Casey Herzog has been dominant in the circle this season would be an understatement. Herzog currently leads the MAAC in earned run average (1.37), wins (11), complete games (12) and Strikeouts (97) in 19 appearances for the Bobcats. Herzog has limited opponents to a batting average of .239 in 435 at bats. Her performance earned her MAAC Softball Pitcher of the Week Honors two weeks ago and there have been no signs of her slowing down. Meanwhile, at the plate, junior Erin Larsen has been providing the offense for this Bobcats squad. In 31 games, she’s batted .370 with six home runs, 23 RBIs and a .716 slugging percentage in 81 plate appearances.

Niagara: Jerri Ann Orfano and Sierra Bertrand

Junior Sierra Bertrand has established herself inside the circle for the Purple Eagles this season. In 12 starts she is 4-6 with five complete games, 37 strikeouts, and an earned run average of 3.66. Bertrand will look to get Niagara back into the win column with another solid outing this weekend. Providing the offense for the Purple Eagles is Junior Jerri Ann Orfano, who is batting .269 with five home runs, 22 runs batted in and an on-base percentage of .366.

Keys to the Game

Quinnipiac: Pitching

Although Herzog has been all but shut down lately, the Bobcats need to find some more consistency inside the circle. Abbey Long and Kendall Brundrett have been backing up Herzog but unfortunately have not fared as well. Brundrett is 2-3 with 6.08 ERA in eight starts while Long is 0-7 with a 10.40 ERA in 12 appearances for Quinnipiac. If the Bobcats want to take home two wins they need to have a strong outing from all of their pitchers

Niagara: Pitching

Similar to the Bobcats, Niagara has had trouble with consistency inside the circle this season. When opponents score more than five runs, they have a record of 2-14. It may sound obvious but they need to limit the amount of scoring from the Bobcats and that starts from inside the circle. Sierra Bertrand will lead the charge along with freshman Karsen Cotton to try and shut down a streaking Bobcats squad.

Make sure to tune in to QBSN’s live broadcast of Quinnipiac Vs. Niagra from the Quinnipiac Softball Field in Hamden, Connecticut. Max Schrieber and Ryan Flaherty will be on the call of the game. For live updates throughout the game, make sure to follow @QBSN on twitter.