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Herzog, Long leads Quinnipiac to double header sweep over Rider

Photo courtesy Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Matt McAuliffe

They say there is no place like home and for the Quinnipiac softball team that cliché has a whole new meaning. In the first game of a double header against conference opponent Rider University, senior pitcher Casey Herzog pitched all seven innings, four of those without letting up a hit, leading the Bobcats to a 5-2 win.

Herzog let up five hits through her seven innings and only allowed one earned run.

“Through the first five innings I felt really confident on the mound, because every play in the field the defenders gobbled it up and got out after out.” Herzog said.

Quinnipiac prides itself on its pitching, and the strong arms were on display as they were able to gain the sweep over the Rider Broncs.

In the second game, freshman Abby Long threw a complete game shutout in a 2-0 win. The Quinnipiac softball team now improves its overall record to (14-15) and conference record to (3-1 MAAC).

Long in game two also came out firing, allowing seven hits and zero runs to cross while she was in the circle.

“It took some settling in to begin with, but I feel comfortable on the mound so I can just throw and do what I do.” Long said.

Head coach Jill Karwoski was pleased with both performances on the mound, noting that the change in dynamic proved to be helpful for the Bobcats.

“They are a nice complement for each other, Casey has a nice up ball she throws a little bit harder, and when Abby’s on she will throw 63-64 [m.p.h.], but her ball is down it’s a heavier ball, its drop ball, curve ball, so it’s a nice balance between the two to keep hitters off guard.” Karwoski said.

This season the Bobcats find themselves thriving in Hamden, as they now have a 5-1 record at home. Last season at this time the Bobcats home record was 3-4 and their conference record was 0-2. Yes, it is early in the season, but it’s win streaks and confidence boosts that leads teams to success in the future.

“This is the time where you want to start peaking,” Karwoski said. “Our pitching is coming along, it is nice to see more three up three down innings, the confidence is just building.”

Quinnipiac didn’t score until the fourth inning in game one. The Bobcats were able to grab three runs off hits from junior Lexi Courtney, Erin Laursen, and Sarah Heimbach. Courtney, with runners on first and second, ripped a single to start the scoring. The next hitter, Laursen, dropped a perfect suicide squeeze to get another run across. The third run came off a line drive through the third base and shortstop gap to give the Bobcats a 3-0 lead.

“Our offense will execute more successfully with runners in scoring position. That is where our focus is right now,” Karwoski added.

Game two was more of the same for the Bobcats, with dominating pitching by Long and impressive offense by Miranda Magana and Rebecca Drake.

Magana started the game with a lead-off home run over the left-center fence. That 1-0 lead stayed until the third inning, when the Bobcats struck again. Drake knocked an RBI double to give her squad a 2-0 lead.

“Our game plan is going to be the same, we want to try to take as many double headers for our MAAC teams as we can.” Karwoski said.

Quinnipiac’s double header against Sacred Heart, originally scheduled for April 4, has been rescheduled due to weather.

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