@WNYsoftball

Monday, May 9, 2016

MAAC Regular Season Ends

The Quinnipiac Bobcats joined the party Sunday!
An exciting and competitive 2016 MAAC softball season closed on Sunday. Now it's on to the Championship phase, which will take place on the campus of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. The ultimate winner will then move on to the National tournament.

Three teams entered Sunday's play with a chance to gain the sixth and final seed of the conference, but this would turn out to be Quinnipiac's weekend. In their third season of membership in the MAAC, the Bobcats qualified for the tournament for the first time after completing a perfect 4 for 4 weekend. QU has received good pitching all season, so it was fitting that they ended with a pair of shutouts, beating Niagara 5-0 and 3-0. Senior Sydney Robey did the deed in game one, going the distance while allowing only three hits. At the plate, she contributed a home run, a two run shot in the third inning. It was Casey Herzog's turn in game two, and she tossed a brilliant two-hitter, with 11 strikeouts. The sophomore has shown a steady progression this season.

Quinnipiac was all set up following game one at Siena, which saw Marist delivering a walloping 14-0 defeat on the Saints. The Red Foxes have been doing this sort of thing all season. Senior Kyrsten Van Natta drove home five runs with a pair of homers. She will graduate as the school's all-time RBI leader. Maureen Duddy stole two bases, and is still one shy of the MAAC career record, but she did set a new Marist mark for runs in a season. The team won their 42nd game of the season, which ties the MAAC mark.

The most exciting, and improbable outcome of the day however, was game two at Monmouth. The Hawks had won game one of the MAAC doubleheader vs. St. Peter's, and needed one more to clinch second place and with it a first round bye at the tournament. But the Peacocks, the last team in division 1 without a win, had other ideas! Playing the best game of their stormy season, which saw their coach fired a couple weeks ago, they won 3-2, thus altering the MAAC's postseason and dropping the Hawks all the way down to the fourth seed. Stacey Klempel, in her final game with SPU, doubled home the winning run. Crystal Carlucci earned the win in relief over the stunned Hawks.

Photo courtesy of Q30 Television


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