The Central Connecticut softball team split a doubleheader with Yale (4-6) on Thursday afternoon. The Blue Devils (7-6) took game one, 4-0, but dropped the second game, 10-8. Freshman Laura Messina threw a complete game shutout in the first game, lowering her season ERA to 3.23.
Messina dominated the opening game with nine strike outs and one walk. Allowing no runs on six hits, Messina limited the Elis by stranding eight runners over her seven innings.
Her most difficult inning came in the bottom of the fourth when she worked around a pair of singles by striking out the side.
The Blue Devil offense scored two runs in the first inning to give Messina the lead before she even reached the circle.
Senior Rebecca Mussatti started the inning with a one out walk. Freshman Kat Malcolm beat out a bunt single to advance Mussatti, who then moved to third on a throwing error. A passed ball scored Mussatti, before junior Nicole Springer doubled to center to drive in Malcolm and give the Blue Devils a 2-0 lead.
Central tacked on two more runs in the third inning with the help of only one hit. Sophomore Arielle Bruno worked a lead off walk and Mussatti followed with an RBI triple. A batter later, Springer picked up her second RBI, and Central's final run of the game, with a sacrifice fly to center field.
Mussatti, Malcolm and Springer all had one hit for Central, which took advantage of four walks and a pair of Yale errors.
Messina improves to 4-2 on the season with the victory. She is 4-0 over her last six games.
The Blue Devil offense pounded out 10 runs and 17 hits in the second game, but the Blue Devils could not over come an eight run fifth inning for the Bulldogs.
Doubles by Mussatti and Springer produced a run for the Blue Devils in the first inning. Sophomore Tessa Brown also singled in the inning.
Trailing 2-1 heading to the top of the third, Central answered with four runs on six hits. Mussatti again started the rally, this time with a single. Malcolm followed with a single, but Mussatti was caught off the bag after an aggressive turn at second. With two outs in the inning, Brown delivered an RBI single and freshman Alyssa McCoart followed with a two-run home run to left. Stefanski got the Blue Devils started again with a single and then came around to score on senior Sarah Vlahos' RBI double.
The Blue Devils tacked on two more runs in the fifth when Malcolm was hit by a pitch to force in a run and Springer walked to score another run for the Blue Devils. Freshman Ashley Black and Mussatti each had a single in the inning for Central.
The Bulldogs scored eight runs in the bottom of the fifth inning with the help of two Blue Devil errors. Junior starting pitcher Jordan Tingley was forced from the game with two outs in the inning. Sophomore Julie Marks came on to finish the frame.
Tingley took the loss in the circle, falling to (3-2). She pitched 4.2 innings and surrendered eight runs, but only four were earned. She allowed seven hits and did not strike out a batter.
Marks pitched 1.1 innings and struck out one batter and walked one. She did not allow a hit.
Central rallied in the top of the seventh with hits by Malcolm, senior Macy Stefanski and an RBI double by McCoart.
"We played extremely well in game one, Laura pitched great and we had some clutch hits," head coach Jeff Franquet said. "Things came apart on us in one inning of the second game, which is disappointing, but we get to move on and play again tomorrow."
The Blue Devils return to action on Friday with a single game against Hampton in the opening contest of their tournament.