The Central Connecticut softball team finished its road trip with a split at Coppin State on Wednesday. The Blue Devils (15-8) finish the trip with a 9-3 record. Freshman Laura Messinaearned the game one victory with her fourth shutout of the season.
Messina dominated in the circle to lead the Blue Devils in game one. She tossed seven scoreless innings and allowed only two hits. She matched her career-high with 10 strike outs and did not walk a batter.
Central's offense got on the board with a single run in the first inning. Sophomore Arielle Bruno singled to lead off the game and senior Rebecca Mussatti bunted her to second. With two outs, junior Nicole Springer delivered an RBI single to right field.
Mussatti singled to start the fifth inning and quickly stole second. Brown followed with a single to score Mussatti. Springer then lined a single up the middle which was bobbled allowing Brown to score. Barlow knocked in the final run of the game with a single to right field.
Messina easily protected the five run lead on the way to her ninth victory. Over her last 76.2 innings, Messina has posted a 9-1 record and a 1.29 ERA. Over that stretch she has allowed 46 hits and 14 walks while striking out 76.
Central and Coppin State were tied, 4-4, heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. Sophomore pitcher Julie Marks retired the first to hitters she faced, but surrendered a game winning solo home run with two outs.
The Blue Devils scored three runs on five hits in the third inning to tie the game after allowing three runs in the bottom of the first. Freshman Ashley Black doubled to start the inning and Bruno and Mussatti followed with back-to-back triples to score a pair of runs. Springer drove in the final run of the frame with a single. Barlow also singled in the inning.
Central added another run in the fourth inning when Bruno hit her second triple of the game. Senior Sarah Vlahos, who had doubled earlier in the inning, scored on Bruno's triple.
Coppin State used single runs in the third and the seventh to earn the victory.
Marks pitched 6.2 innings in the loss. She falls to 2-2 on the season. Marks allowed five runs, four earned and eight hits while striking out three and not walking a batter.
Bruno had two of the team's six extra-base hits. Central also used its speed, stealing five bases in five attempts.
"Obviously we wanted to leave here today with two wins so we could get to 10 on the road trip, but it is tough to play .750 ball on the road and that is what we did on this trip," head coach Jeff Franquet said after the game.
The Blue Devils return home to play a single game against Holy Cross tomorrow at the CCSU Softball Field. That game will begin at 3 p.m.