The Central Connecticut softball team swept the University of Hartford in a doubleheader on Sunday. The Blue Devils (2-4)were limited early in game one but produced a five run seventh inning to earn the victory. In the second game the offense exploded for 13 runs in the first two innings in a wild 13-7 victory.
Freshman Laura Messina started for the Blue Devils and threw five dominating innings. Messina allowed only two hits, a home run and a double, but surrendered three runs because of a throwing error. She finished with a line of three runs, one earned, two hits, nine strikeouts and one walk over five innings.
Junior Jordan Tingley pitched the sixth and seventh innings for the Blue Devils and allowed one run on two hits.
While the Blue Devil pitchers limited the Hawks (0-2) to four runs on four hits, the offense was unable to push across a run despite five hits.
That changed in the seventh inning when the Blue Devil offense scored five runs on five hits to pull off the walkoff victory.
Junior Macy Stefanski led off the inning with a hit and pinch hitter Alyssa McCoart followed with a walk. Freshman Ashley Black delivered an RBI double to score Stefanski and push pinch runner Sarah Vlahos to third. Two batters later, freshman Kat Malcolm stepped up with the bases loaded and singled in a pair of runs, but senior Rebecca Mussatti was caught making a wide turn at second base for the second out of the inning.
Down a run, with one on and two out, junior Nicole Springer stepped to the plate and delivered a long home run to center. Springer's home run gave the Blue Devils a 5-4 victory, their first of the season.
Springer and Malcolm each finished the game with two runs batted in. Springer, Malcolm and Stefanski all finished with two hits.
Tingley picked up the victory in relief. Her first of the season.
The Blue Devil offense got to work early in the second game. After Hartford scored a single run in the first, Central answered with four in the bottom of the inning. McCoart and Stefanski each picked up an RBI in the frame with the other two Central runs scoring on wild pitches.
Hartford chased sophomore pitcher Julie Marks from the game with four runs in the top of the second, but Messina came in and ended the threat.
Trailing 5-4, the Blue Devil offense scored nine runs on five hits. Central also had five batters reach on walks or hit-by-pitches in the inning. Mussatti had the big hit of the frame, a three run double to right center that pushed across the Blue Devils' final runs of the inning.
Central did not score again in the game, but Messina kept her team in the lead over six innings of relief to earn the victory. The first of her collegiate career.
Messina finished game two allowing three runs on six hits over six innings. She also struck out seven batters, while walking only one.
On the day Messina pitched 11 innings and allowed four earned runs while striking out 16 hitters and walking only two.
Black, Stefanski and Mussatti all finished the day with three hits. Black posted an impressive 3-for-3 with three walks and two RBI.
McCoart, Springer, Stefanski and Malcolm joined Black with two RBI. Mussatti led the team with three runs batted in.
The Blue Devils return to action on Friday with a doubleheader on the opening day of the University of South Florida Tournament.