Quinnipiac softball plays host to top-ranked Monmouth Sunday

Juliana Nikac and Max Schreiber

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Photo: Liz Flynn

Photo: Liz Flynn

The Quinnipiac Bobcats (19-23, 7-5 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) will play host to the first place Monmouth University Hawks (19-14, 8-1 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) for a doubleheader on Sunday, March 22 in Hamden. The Bobcats are fifth in the MAAC. On Saturday, April 21, the Bobcats split their doubleheader with Siena. The Bobcats took the first game 7-1, but they lost the second game 5-0. The Monmouth Hawks won ten in a row before a 6-3 loss at the hands of the Iona Gaels on Saturday ended the streak.

Players to Watch

Casey Herzog and Erin Larsen

Casey Herzog has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the MAAC this season. Last weekend against Marist, she became the fifth pitcher in Quinnipiac history to record 40 career wins. She added another win to her resume on Saturday in the first game against Siena. Herzog pitched seven innings allowing only one run. She leads the MAAC in ERA (1.51) wins (15) and complete games (16).

In the batter’s box, Erin Larsen has been the most dominant hitter for the Bobcats the entire season. She has posted a .374 batting average and seven home runs on the season, both of which lead the Bobcats. On Saturday against Siena, she went 1-for-2 in game one with an RBI single and a walk. In game two, Larson went 1-for-3 with a single and walk. As long as Larsen can get on base as a lead-off hitter, the Bobcats should be in good shape. She leads the team with a .473 on-base percentage.

Keys to the Game

Quinnipiac: Pitching

The keys to the game for Quinnipiac is pitching. Pitching is going to have to shut down the first place Monmouth Hawks. If Casey Herzog is as dominant in the circle as she’s been all season, Quinnipiac has a real shot to win every time she pitches. Kendall Brundrett needs to improve in the circle as Quinnipiac’s second starter. She has posted a 4.72 ERA and a 4-6 record on the season. She did not pitch well in the second game against Siena, on Saturday. She allowed 8 hits and 4 earned runs in the 5-0 loss and is going to need a bounce-back start against the first place Hawks on Sunday.

Monmouth: Pitching

Much like Quinnipiac, pitching is the strength of this Monmouth team. Senior Amanda Riley is the leading pitcher for the Hawks, as she was a 2017 All-MAAC first team selection. This season she is riding an 11-5 record on the season and a 2.74 ERA on the season. Once she leads the game past the sixth inning she has been lockdown is securing the lead all season. She will try to shutdown Bobcat bats on Sunday just like she did in game one against Iona on Saturday.

Make sure to tune in to QBSN’s live broadcast of Quinnipiac vs. Monmouth from the Quinnipiac softball field in Hamden, Connecticut. Max Schrieber and Jonathan Banks will be on the call for the game. For live updates throughout the game, make sure to follow @QBSN on Twitter.