Bobcats split doubleheader with Saints, Siena breaks 8-game skid with Game 2 win


Photo: Kaylyn Terry

Paul Siracusa and Jake Zaretsky

Game One:

After dropping their previous contest against Rider last Saturday, Quinnipiac chipped away at Siena’s four-run second inning to take the first game of the doubleheader against the Saints 7-5 on Sunday.

Quinnipiac’s Sydney Horan and Bridget Nasir were the main catalysts for leading the comeback due to Horan’s relief efforts and Nasir’s timely hitting.

After a second inning that saw Bobcats starter Jaclyn Gonzalez put Quinnipiac in an early 4-1 hole giving up four runs, Horan was able to stop the bleeding and give the offense an opportunity to win.

Horan entered in the third inning down 4-3 and provided the Bobcats an important bounce back 1-2-3 inning to keep the Saints off the scoreboard. Horan also provided a scoreless fourth inning that saw her strike out both Isabella Pardo and Mikala Fletcher, who each drove in runs in the second inning. Horan was also able to strand runners in both the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings to provide consistency out of the bullpen and illustrate her ability to make good pitches in tough situations. In total, Horan was able to go five innings of one-run ball.

This is not the first time that Horan was able to stifle an opposing team’s lineup in relief work, such as Quinnipiac’s 3-2 victory over Bryant on April 14. However, a new hero also emerged from the game – Nasir.

Nasir had a perfect day at the plate going 4-4 with a double, triple, and two RBIs to provide stability at the top of the order for Quinnipiac. After a tough top of the second inning, Nasir drove in Gianna Palmisano with a single to help bring the Bobcats some life. Later, in the fourth inning, Nasir tripled home Karolyn Walker to give the Bobcats a lead that they never relinquished.

This was the first time this season that Nasir had three or more hits in a game and her timely hitting could not have happened at a better time for Quinnipiac.

Quinnipiac split the season series against Siena going 1-1.

The Bobcats showed some fight and battled back from a multi-run deficit, hoping to gain momentum down the stretch in what has been a tough season.


Game Two:

The Bobcats faced off against the Sienna Saints on Sunday afternoon in the second game of a doubleheader where they came off a 7-5 victory in game one. 

Tori McGraw took the mound for Quinnipiac while Sienna rolled out Nicole Patille onto the rubber. 

It didn’t take long for Sienna to get on the board as Angelina Stile was able to get a single up the middle of the infield to go up 1-0 in the first inning. 

The Saints were undoubtedly playing with an edge in the second contest where they were able to pile on seven runs in the second inning to get themselves ahead by a score of 8-0. The most surprising part about the eight consecutive runs that Sienna scored in the first two frames was that each of them came with two outs on the scoreboard. 

McGraw was unable to get into a rhythm this afternoon, pitching just one and two-thirds of an inning in which she struck out one batter and surrendered six earned runs as well as five hits in 35 pitches. 

Quinnipiac did answer in the bottom half of the second, however they were only able to put up a single run off of a catcher’s interference call on Sienna with Brooke Hilliard batting for the Bobcats. 

With an 8-1 cushion to work with, Sienna’s pitcher Patille pitched exceptionally through five and one-third innings. She had six strikeouts while allowing three earned runs and seven hits in 95 pitches, which was combined with some stellar defensive plays by the Saints fielding unit. 

The next run on the board was put up four innings later when the Bobcats made a valiant effort with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Lala Pascual was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, allowing Bridget Nasir to cross home plate, making it 8-2. In the next at bat, Kayla Jensen was walked, sending Hilliard home to make it 8-3. 

Two at bats later is where things got a little crazy. Gianna Palmisano ripped a single into left field where the ball was juggled by the Sienna defender. The misplay allowed Pascual to score easily, but an errant throw to home by the outfielder gave Kayla Thomas a chance to score and she took it with ease. This wild play allowed Quinnipiac to cut Sienna’s lead to 8-5. 

Unfortunately for the Bobcats, the rally came up short, as they stranded five total runners in the final two frames. Despite the loss, Quinnipiac head coach Hillary Smith was impressed with her team’s effort throughout both contests. 

“We were doing well, it was just one bad inning,” Smith said. “Sometimes that happens and it was really just a game of inches. I’m proud of how they came out in both games.” 

Nasir, the team’s leadoff hitter, tallied five hits and two RBIs in total between both games today. 

“At the end of the day, Coach (Smith) has a plan that we stick with and trusting her with that is how I was able to find success today,” Nasir said. 

Nasir and her teammates have shown high praise for their head coach throughout the season. Going into the week, Smith and the Bobcats are looking to find consistency before they face Merrimack on Wednesday. 

“If we keep doing what we’re doing right now, the wins are going to happen consistently and that’s what we want right now,” Smith said. “If we keep hacking and working hard it’s all going to mesh together for us.” 

The Bobcats fell to 10-22 on the season, while Sienna (19-21) snapped an eight-game losing streak with its win Sunday afternoon.

Quinnipiac continues its home stand as the Bobcats host Merrimack on Wednesday at 3 p.m.