Quinnipiac softball swept in doubleheader with Monmouth

Juliana Nikac

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Photo: Liz Flynn

Photo: Liz Flynn

On a breezy Sunday afternoon, the Quinnipiac Bobcats (19-25, 7-6 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) took on the Monmouth Hawks (21-14, 11-1 MAAC) in a doubleheader at home. Throughout the two games, the Bobcats struggled against their competitor both on the field and at the plate; both games resulted in a loss for Quinnipiac, 8-0 and 7-3.

Several key factors caused the team’s two losses. Two that stood out? Quinnipiac’s pitching and their at-the-plate performance.

“We had equal opportunities to score, we just didn’t capitalize especially with runners in scoring position.” Quinnipiac head coach Jill Karwoski said.

In game one, Casey Herzog, the senior pitcher with a MAAC-leading 1.78 ERA entering the games, started on the mound. Against Monmouth, however, her performance did not represent her stats.

In the second inning, Herzog allowed an RBI single from Jasmine Higa. She made a few adjustments and struck out the next batter, but those adjustments didn’t last. She allowed two runs in the third and four runs in the fifth, resulting in a pitching change from Casey Herzog to Abbey Long.

Something Herzog pointed out about the Monmouth team is their ability “to hit unconventional pitches,” and that “pitches that are close to the dirt, they are still taking pretty long.”

Offensively, Quinnipiac set the tone for the rest of the game when their first inning resulted in a 1-2-3 inning for Monmouth. Quinnipiac’s key batter, Erin Larsen, with a batting average of .361, had three at-bats, two of which resulted in a strikeout.

Quinnipiac continued this trend as the game continued as they only salvaged two hits throughout the final five innings of play, resulting in the 8-0 loss.

“We have a lot to learn from this game,” Karwoski said. “Learning from our at-bats and what the pitchers did so when we see them in the conference tournament we can make those adjustments.”

In game two, not much changed for the Bobcats. Kendall Brundrett took the circle, but her second pitch of the game was taken over the center field fence by Sam Tomasetti to make it 1-0 Hawks.

Alex Holzman responded quickly after with yet another Monmouth home run, making it 2-0 Hawks in the second inning. This trend continued in the top of the fifth, as Tomasetti hit another bomb over the right field fence to make it 5-0.

Karwoski knew this Monmouth team was not going to be an easy one, coming off of a 13-game winning streak. She told her team, “You have to play the best to be the best,” and Quinnipiac definitely saw that today.

“They have a strong defense behind Riley,” Karwoski said. “Her ERA is 0.56 and offensively they do some dynamic things. From power to the short game they found our spots in the defense we tried to play to their weaknesses and they took advantage of some of those gaps.”

The Bobcats will try to shake off this doubleheader and focus on the road ahead of them. Up next, the team plays the Fairfield Stags (17-24 overall, 9-5 MAAC) in a doubleheader at Quinnipiac on Saturday, April 28.