Manhattan Wins MAAC Opener Against Quinnipiac
RIVERDALE, N.Y. – In a season where the Manhattan College softball team has had to endure a seemingly endless string of weather-related cancellations and postponements, it was only fitting that the Jaspers played their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) opener through a steady rain. The Jaspers (7-14, 1-0 MAAC) didn’t let the rain slow them down, though, scoring four runs in the first two innings of a 6-1 victory over Quinnipiac (3-19, 0-1 MAAC) at Gaelic Park on Saturday afternoon. Game two of the doubleheader was called in the fourth inning with Quinnipiac leading 1-0.
In an attempt to avoid the rain, the start of the first game was moved up a half hour to 10:30, but the Jaspers and Bobcats were forced to play through the raindrops throughout anyway. That didn’t stop the Manhattan offense, though, as the Jaspers scored twice in the bottom of the first. Kate Bowen (Newtown, Conn.) led off with a double to center, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Elena Bowman’s (San Mateo, Calif.) double to right center. After Amanda Paxson (Cedar Grove, N.J.) was hit by a pitch and Andi Stallard (Katy, Texas) walked to load the bases, Stephanie Reinhardt (Albany, N.Y.) drew a walk to make it 2-0.
Bowen started another Manhattan rally with a one-out single in the second. After stealing second, she came around on Paxson’s two-out single up the middle. Paxson then stole second with Jenn Vazquez (Fairfield, Conn.) hitting. That stolen base led directly to another run, as Vazquez ripped a single up that middle that brought Paxson home.
Quinnipiac got on the board in the top of the third. Abby Johnson started the inning with a single, then Nikki Barba drew a walk. The runners stole second and third before Bowen struck out Sydney Robey and got Jamie Paolucci to pop up. However, Dani Edmands followed with a single to center. Johnson scored easily on the play, but Emily Cutler (Bloomingdale, N.J.) came up throwing and gunned down Barba at home, ending the inning with only the one run coming across.
It would remain 4-1 until the sixth, when the Jaspers added two more runs. Reinhardt started the inning with a single to left, then Mickayla Romero (Las Vegas, Nev.) dropped down a bunt that was misplayed at third, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. After Meredith Bryant (Brielle, N.J.) popped up and Bowen moved the runners up on a groundout, Bowman ripped a two-run double to center. Bowen then worked around a two-out single in the top of the seventh to finish off the 6-1 victory.
Bowen (5-3) allowed one run on four hits with four walks and a season-high seven strikeouts. She also went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored. Bowman finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBIs, while Paxson was 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
After her early struggles, Quinnipiac starter Sydney Robey (1-9) settled down. She yielded six runs (four earned) on eight hits, struck out four and walked two. Offensively, the Bobcats were held to four hits—all singles—with Edmands knocking in Johnson for the only run.
The rain intensified during the break between games, and conditions gradually got worse as play went on. In fact, the only hit either team was able to manage over the first three innings was a solo home run by Paolucci leading off the top of the second.
The Bobcats put together another rally in the top of the fourth. Paolucci walked leading off the inning, but was erased when she got caught in a rundown while trying to steal second with Edmands batting. After a long at-bat, Edmands ended up doubling to left center, and Hannah Lindsley followed with a walk. Britney Cyr then drew a free pass to load the bases with one out, prompting Manhattan Head Coach Tom Pardalis to make a pitching change.
However, before Danielle Gabriel (Island Heights, N.J.) began her warm-up, the umpires pulled the players off the field. After a delay of roughly a half-hour, the decision was made not to continue. Since they hadn’t played the required five innings, the contest is unofficial. There is no word as to whether the game is considered suspended or postponed, and a make-up date has not been announced.Manhattan was originally scheduled to visit Siena (10-11, 0-0 MAAC) for a doubleheader on Sunday, but that twinbill has been postponed. The Jaspers will return to action with a non-conference twinbill at Columbia (11-9) on Tuesday at 3 p.m. The Lions posted a 3-2 win over the Jaspers on March 18.