Not So Good Friday: Bobcats drop doubleheader to Stags


Photo: Alex Bayer

Clever Streich and Seth Fromowitz

Game 1:

Despite holding an early lead, the Quinnipiac softball team came up short against Fairfield in Game 1 of the doubleheader, dropping a 3-1 contest. 

Looking to rebound after a crushing doubleheader loss to reigning MAAC champion Canisius on Monday, the Bobcats’ inconsistency at the plate sunk any chances for the blue and gold to fight back.

The Bobcats were in a strong position to control the game against their in-state MAAC foes after the first two innings were scoreless and uncontested.

Then, Quinnipiac reached the bottom of the third. Brooke Hilliard, Natalia Apatiga, Lala Pascual and Bridget Nasir loaded the bases with four straight singles to give their team a 1-0 lead.

On paper, this should have provided an opportunity to build a lead, but the Bobcats left three runners stranded after Serena Fogg reached on a fielder’s choice, where Pascual was called out at third unassisted. 

The spotlight turned to the mound and sophomore starter Sydney Horan, who pitched her 11th complete game of the season. The former All-MAAC Rookie team selection kept the Stags at bay until the top of the fifth, when Fairfield finally struck.

The Stags evened the score after a sacrifice fly to center field off the bat of 2022 MAAC Co-Rookie of the Year Charli Warren, sending Quinn McGonigle across home plate.

For the next two innings the Stags and the Bobcats were in deadlock, as Fairfield came close to crossing the plate again in the top of the sixth, but left three runners stranded thanks to strong pitching from Horan. Horan finished the day with six strikeouts.  

However, the Stags stampeded ahead and went yard in the top of the fifth. Kaitlyn Hoffman cleared the wall with a two run home run to deep left field, hitting the concrete by the flagpole at the Quinnipiac softball field. 

The homer, Hoffman’s first of the season, was enough to put Quinnipiac away in the first half of the doubleheader. The Bobcats losing streak extended to three straight in conference play, as Hillary Smith’s squad looked to reground in the second game.


Game 2:

After a late rally by Faifield in Game One, the Quinnipiac softball team was shutout by the Stags on the backend of the Friday doubleheader, 3-0.

“We just need to get back to Quinnipiac softball,” said head coach Hillary Smith. “I think right now, we’ve set really big goals this year.”

Sophomore Jaclyn Gonzalez got the start in the circle for the Bobcats for her 14th appearance and pitched her sixth complete game of the season.

“Day in and day out (she) puts in the work,” said Smith on what gives her the confidence to allow Gonzalez to go the distance in 60% of her starts. “In my office, watching film, breaking down hitters and figuring out how (she) can be better.”

Scoring started and ended in the top of the first, as Fairfield first-year infielder Anna Paravati drove in graduate outfielder Kailtin Hoffman on a fielder’s choice to Quinnipiac’s first-year shortstop Natalie Apatiga with one out.

In the next at-bat, with runners on second and third, senior outfielder Haley Updegraff singled to right field for a bases-clearing single. Driving in first-year designated hitter Delany Whieldon and senior infielder Megan Forbes, Updegraff’s nine RBIs on the season puts her tied for third on the team with Forbes.

The Bobcats ended Game Two with only five base hits without having any multi-hit innings as Fairfield senior pitcher Samantha Lindsey matched Gonzalez in a complete game with two strikeouts.

“We got to do better making adjustments early,” said Smith. “But we just got to get back to work tomorrow.”

After today, the Bobcats fell to an overall record of 13-13 and 2-4 in conference play.

“We talked about having a short memory,” said Smith. “So obviously we’re going to take these losses, we’re going to learn from it and then tomorrow we gotta put it behind us and we just got to go back to work.”

Quinnipiac softball will return to action on Saturday, April 8 for a doubleheader against the new MAAC school, Mount St. Mary’s, starting at noon.