The Central Connecticut softball team (12-7) sweept a doubleheader from Norfolk State (9-11) on Monday evening. Freshman Laura Messina earned the victory in both games. She threw a complete game shutout in game one and then pitched 6.2 innings of relief during game two.
Messina's two victories improve her record to 7-3 on the season. She allowed a single unearned run in 13.2 innings in the circle. On the day, she allowed only 10 hits, one walk and struck out three.
Junior Kelsey Barlow led the offense with three hits and three runs batted in.
Messina delivered a complete game shutout to lead the Blue Devils in the victory. She limited Norfolk State hitters to only two hits and a walk, while striking out two over her seven innings.
The Blue Devils got on the board with a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Freshman Ashley Black slapped a single through the left side to start the rally. Following a fielder's choice by sophomore Arielle Bruno, senior Rebecca Mussatti launched her third triple of the season to get Central on the board. Sophomore Tessa Brown followed with an RBI ground out to extend the lead to 2-0.
Messina finished out the game with a one-two-three seventh inning. She retired the final nine hitters she faced, setting down the Spartan's last nine hitters.
Mussatti, McCoart and Black all had two hits in the game.
The Spartans used a walk, single, wild pitch and a sacrifice fly to score their first run of the game. Another base hit drove in a second run for the Spartans.
Head coach Jeff Franquet made a quick pitching change calling on Messina to finish the first inning. Messina worked out of the frame without allowing another run and then held Norfolk State scoreless until the seventh inning.
The Blue Devils got on the board with a pair of runs in the top of the second. Barlow hit her first home run of the season following a lead off walk to McCoart. The two-run blast was the 19th of Barlow's career.
Central added a single run in the fourth when Black came around to score on a pair of errors by the Spartan defense. Black had bunted for a hit to reach base in the inning.
In the fifth inning, Central added two more runs to take a 5-2 lead. Sophomore Tessa Brown walked to lead off the inning and then was driven home on an RBI double by junior Nicole Springer. After a sacrifice bunt by McCoart, Barlow drove in Central's fifth run with an RBI single.
Messina held the Norfolk State bats in check throughout the game. She allowed a single unearned run with two outs in the seventh inning.
"Laura did a tremendous job in the circle today, she gave us two games worth of quality innings," Franquet said after the game. "On top of the great pitching, our bats showed some power today, which helped us put up runs in bunches."
The Blue Devils return to action tomorrow with another doubleheader against Norfolk State.