The Central Connecticut softball team split day one of the Hampton Tournament today, Friday, March 8, in Hampton, VA. The Blue Devils (5-4) topped the Canisius Golden Griffins 6-1 followed by a 4-2 loss to the Hampton Lady Pirates.
"We started today out with a great win against Canisius," Head Coach Jeff Franquet said. "We came close in the seventh of the second game with the tying runs on base and the winning run at the plate, but in the end we just weren't quite able to finish and pull out the win. Arielle scored both of our runs against Hampton, she did a great job getting around the bases. Overall, our offense and defense played great today and we're looking forward to tomorrow's games."
Game 1 vs. Canisius
Sophomore Laura Messina started the game in the pitcher's circle for CCSU against the Golden Griffins (7-3). She pitched the full seven innings totaling three strikeouts, no walks and only one run. Her season record improves to 3-2.
Central got the game off to a quick start bringing three runs across the plate in just the top of the first inning. Freshman Hannah Cooper singled to left field to bring sophomore Kat Malcolm, who reached the bases on a single of her own, in for the first run of the game.
With only one out in the top of the first, freshman Evie Rentzel hit a single to center field and earned two RBI. She brought in senior Nicole Springer, who had reached base on a Canisius error, and senior Sarah Emery, Cooper's pinch runner.
Canisius responded with a triple from their lead-off batter, Meghan Cuda in the bottom of the first. A Central error allowed Canisius to send another batter to base and plate Cuda for the solo Golden Griffin run of the game.
In the top of the third, Rentzel scored after a single and a stolen base from freshman Eileen Purcell. Another single from junior Arielle Bruno brought Purcell across the plate to loft the Blue Devil lead to 5-1.
In the top of the sixth, Central earned its final run when Rentzel blasted a double to left-center field, driving in Cooper who reached base on a single.
Game 2 vs. Hampton
Senior Jordan Tingley started in the pitcher's circle for Central against the Hampton Lady Pirates (9-11). She pitched the first two innings, allowing four runs, before Springer entered in the bottom of the third and held Hampton scoreless throughout the remainder of the game. Tingley takes the loss for CCSU and her season record falls to 1-2.
The Blue Devils got their bats off to a quick start again in the first inning of the second game. A single by Springer plated lead-off batter Bruno for the first run of the match-up. Two consecutive Central outs left Malcolm and Springer stranded in scoring position at the half inning.
The Lady Pirates responded in the bottom of the first with a solo homer by their number two batter to tie the game 1-1. A single up the middle brought another Hampton run in to put the Blue Devils down 2-1 at the conclusion of the first.
In the bottom of the second, Tingley walked Hampton's Diamond Ponds who scored on a double down the right field line from Kerissa Berruel. Following another walk and a Blue Devil error, Berruel crossed home plate to elevate their lead to 4-1.
Entering the bottom of the third down three, Springer entered the circle for the Blue Devils and sent three consecutive batters back to the dugout.
Central returned to the plate in the top of the fourth and senior Kelsey Barlow smacked a double to center field followed by a walk from pinch-hitting senior Stephanie Chotkevys to occupy the first two bases and attempt to narrow the Lady Pirates' lead. Chotkevys however, was thrown out on a force at second to end the half inning.
In the top of the seventh inning, with their last chance to make a comeback, the visiting Blue Devils batted from the top of the order. Bruno and Malcolm both singled followed by a walk to put Springer on first. With the bases loaded and the tying runs on base, junior Tessa Brown flied out to center field, registering the second out of the inning, but not before sending Bruno home to reduce the deficit to two. Following the play, pinch-runner Ashley Black was called out at second for the third out, ending the game 4-2, Lady Pirates.
The Blue Devils will return to action tomorrow, Saturday, March 9, in another double header at the Hampton Tournament. Central will face Siena at 10 a.m. followed by Maryland Eastern Shore at 12 p.m.