The Central Connecticut softball team dropped a heartbreaking 8-5 decision to Quinnipiac in the first elimination game of the 2011 Northeast Conference Softball Championship. The game featured a three hour, six minute rain delay. The loss drops the Blue Devils to 29-22-1 on the season and ends their first NEC Tournament appearance. It also brings an end to the most successful season in CCSU Division I softball history.
With one out in the top of the first, junior Rebecca Mussatti floated a single over the shortstops head for a single. Senior Amanda Dilworth followed with a single to right field that chased Mussatti to third. With senior Kat Knowles at the plate, Coach Jeff Franquet called for the squeeze to score the Blue Devils first run of the tournament, with the Bobcats unable to get an out on the play.
The Blue Devils were not done in the inning. Sophomore Kelsey Barlow was the next batter and she launched a massive three run homerun to left field giving the Blue Devils a 4-0 lead. The homerun was the 18 of Barlow's career putting her second on the CCSU's all-time list.
Quinnipiac answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. After holding Central scoreless again in the top of the third, Quinnipiac's Alex Alba hit a solo homerun to left center cutting the lead to 4-3.
Rain followed the homerun, delaying the game three hours before it could be continued.
Quinnipiac came out swinging after the delay. They lined a pair of hits in the bottom of the third before Montemurro was able to work out of trouble. In the fourth, NEC Rookie of the Year Jordan Paolucci launched a three run homerun to center field giving Quinnipiac their first lead of the game at 6-4.
Two more hits in the fifth inning plated another run for the Bobcats before a line drive double play ended the inning. Another run in the sixth made it an 8-5 game and that would be the final.
Senior Erica Koehler, Freshman Tessa Brown Mussatti, Barlow, senior Kendall Sours, and sophomore Macy Stefanski all had a hit for Central. Dilworth had two hits and Barlow drove in three of the Blue Devils four runs.
The 2011 squad posted the best season was in school history, posting a program record 29 wins and reaching the team's first Northeast Conference Tournament.