The Central Connecticut softball team defeated Monmouth by a score of 8-5 on Sunday afternoon. The Blue Devils (25-16, 7-6 NEC) scored five runs in the fifth inning to break open the game, which was played in strong rains. Freshman Ashley Black drove in three of Central's eight runs.
The Hawks (17-18, 7-8 NEC) scored a pair of runs in the top of the first on a two-run home run by Katie Schumacher, but freshman Laura Messina worked out of further trouble in the inning.
The Blue Devil offense came alive with two-out in the second inning. Junior Stephanie Chotkevys walked, which pushed senior Sarah Vlahos to second base. Black followed with a base hit that scored Vlahos and sophomore Arielle Bruno doubled to score Chotkevys to tie the game at 2-2.
Central added a third run in the fourth inning as Bruno singled home Stefanski who had walked to start the frame.
The first three batters of the fifth inning walked for the Blue Devils setting the stage for a big inning. Stefanski hit a ground ball, and a wild throw home scored pinch runnner Sara Emery. Vlahos followed with a line drive single through the right side, which scored pinch runner Emily Pogemiller and Black picked up the big hit of the inning a two-run double, which gave Central a 7-2 lead. Another run would come across on a wild pitch to cap the scoring at 8-5.
The Hawks scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to cut Central's lead to 8-5, but Messina was able to finish the game on a pair of fly outs.
Messina pitched seven strong innings to earn her 19th victory of the season. She allowed five runs on eight hits and struck out seven while walking none.
Black went two-for-two at the plate with three runs batted in. Bruno also had two hits and a pair of RBI. The Blue Devil offense was helped by their ability to get on base. Central hitters drew eight walks in the game.
"The conditions weren't great today, but we did a good job of taking what we could get," head coach Jeff Franquet said after the game. "Our hitters did a good job taking pitches and working walks and defensively we made good decisions with the ball for the most part. It was nice to get a win on Senior Day, this is a good group of kids that are saying good bye, but hopefully we still have a lot of softball left."
The second game of the doubleheader was postponed because of the rain, the game will be played tomorrow, April 23, at 2 p.m.
The Blue Devils will return to action on Wednesday, April 25, in a doubleheader at Siena College.