A Tale of Two Winnings: Bobcats Split Series with Manhattan and Grabbed First MAAC Win


Photo: Alex Bayer

Christian Beane and Michael LaRocca


The Quinnipiac softball team started off its Sunday with game one of its double-header against the Manhattan College Jaspers.

On the cold Sunday afternoon, the offense took an inning to get warmed up. After a quick scoreless first inning, the Bobcats struck in the second.

After catcher Kayla Jensen reached on an error and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, left fielder Serena Fogg drove a single into right field, scoring Jensen and the first run of the game.

The Jaspers wasted no time answering back, scoring three runs of their own in the top of the third. Taking advantage of a few defensive errors, the Jaspers scored two runs on a double by starting pitcher Jessie Rising. Rising later came in to score on a base hit by Kaitlyn Flood. This big inning forced starting pitcher Tori McGraw out of the game.

With Manhattan holding a two-run lead, the Bobcats looked for a comeback.

Now in the fifth, the Bobcats still trailing, Thomas sent a single into right, scoring Karolyn Walker from second, cutting the lead down to one run. Thomas later scored on an RBI double off the bat of Taylor Walton. In between Thomas’s and Walton’s RBIs, Brooke Hilliard hit a sacrifice fly that scored Jensen. At the end of the fifth, the Bobcats held a one-run lead.

The scoring did not end there, as Manhattan scored again immediately in the sixth. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Madison Ihnat tied the game at four and a bunt single by Megan Gillooley put the Jaspers up by one in the sixth.

Just like in the bottom of the second, Fogg squeezed a ball into the outfield scoring the tying run in the bottom of the seventh.

The big play came with two outs in the seventh. Jensen attempted a delayed steal to win the game. As she evaded the catcher and touched home plate, the umpire ruled her safe at home and the Bobcats won the game. But after a short meeting between the umpires, Jensen was ruled out at home and the game headed into extra innings.

In the eighth, pitcher Sydney Horan did exactly what was needed, allowing zero runs, and allowing the offense to go to work. That happened after only a few batters.

With an error and a single, Quinnipiac had runners on second and third with only one out and Thomas up at-bat. Thomas sent the ball into the air in left field, far enough for Hilliard to tag up and score the game-winning run.

The walk-off sacrifice fly gave the Bobcats the win by a score of 6-5.

The winning pitcher in game one of the doubleheader was Horan, who threw two innings allowing no runs and striking out two which helped give the Bobcats the win.



After a thrilling 6-5 walk-off victory in extra innings for the Quinnipiac softball team in game one of its doubleheader against the Manhattan Jaspers, the Bobcats ultimately split the series after an 11-5 loss in the subsequent matchup. 

The carousel that was the Quinnipiac pitching staff in game two began with sophomore Tori McGraw facing off against Manhattan junior Marika Deemer

The Jaspers pounced on the Bobcats early in the matchup, scoring two runs in the top of the first, courtesy of RBI singles from senior pitcher Jessie Rising and junior infielder Kaitlyn Flood.

The two runs from Manhattan was enough for Quinnipiac head coach Hillary Smith to pull McGraw for freshman pitcher Jaclyn Gonzalez after only two innings in the circle. The change didn’t make much of a change early on as the Jaspers knocked in two more runs in the top of the third to make the score 4-0 heading to the bottom of said inning.

The early deficit for the Bobcats quieted their dugout as the Jaspers exuded confidence on the field. The bottom of the third inning put that energy dynamic on its head as Quinnipiac rallied to tie the game at four, capped off by an RBI single punched through the right side of the infield by freshman infielder Taylor Walton

Quinnipiac and Manhattan traded runs once more in the fifth inning before the game was completely taken over by the Jaspers in the sixth. The Manhattan rally began with senior outfielder Megan Gillooley taking advantage of a pitch from Quinnipiac freshman pitcher Sydney Horan and working magic on the basepaths to turn it into a triple. 

An RBI single from Manhattan junior infielder Lauren Rende and a Horan wild pitch put the Jaspers on top 7-5. The game was officially put away when a throwing error from Quinnipiac sophomore infielder Kayla Thomas allowed two more Manhattan runners to score, leaving the Bobcats with two more innings to come back from a 9-5 deficit. 

The Quinnipiac bats went quiet for the remainder of the matchup as Manhattan added two more runs in the top of the seventh inning, closing out the 11-5 victory. Manhattan freshman pitcher Ava Metzger was given credit for the victory after 2.1 innings of scoreless pitching. Horan was credited with the loss. 

Despite the loss in game two, Quinnipiac was able to find positives in its play, especially against the reigning MAAC champions. 

“I think we feel really confident at the plate, which is a really good thing,” Smith said. “And I think our pitchers are feeling really good to know that we came out and we played a team like Manhattan tough considering that they did win the conference championship. I think that for our mindset, it puts us in a really good place. It makes us feel like we can do it.”

A bright spot for the Bobcats during the doubleheader was freshman infielder Brooke Hilliard, who went four for eight from the batter’s box across the two matchups, scoring three runs in the process. 

“I love that kid,” Smith said. “She’s just a hard worker. She reminds me of Ichiro. She’s just a quiet kid that finds ways to get things done. She’s nothing fancy, nothing flashy, but that kid will always find a way.”

Quinnipiac will look to build off the momentum created from its Sunday split on Monday, April 11, as the Bobcats will face off against the St. Peter’s Peacocks in another doubleheader, starting at 12:00 p.m.



Game one written by Christian Beane. Game two written by Michael LaRocca.