The Central Connecticut softball team (8-7) dropped a doubleheader Saturday against the Hofstra Pride by a score of 9-0, and the University of Connecticut Huskies, 8-6. The Blue Devils registered nine hits on the day including double by sophomore Kat Malcolm, her sixth extra-base hit of the season.
"Offensively, we had a rough start today," Head Coach Jeff Franquet said. "But by the end of the day we were performing well at the plate and we finished our second game with no fielding errors. The game against UConn was a close match-up and we look forward to playing both teams again tomorrow."
Game 1 vs. Hofstra
Senior Nicole Springer started in the pitcher's circle against the Pride (8-8), who completed last season just one win away from the Women's College World Series. Springer takes the loss, her first of the season, dropping her record to 3-1. Classmate Jordan Tingley took to the circle in the bottom of the third to complete the game for the Blue Devils.
Junior Arielle Bruno earned the first hit of the day against 2012 First Team All-American, Olivia Galati, in the top of the first. Bruno ripped a single up the middle but was followed by three outs to end the half inning.
Hofstra loaded the bases in the bottom of the first and brought in the first run of the game on a walked batter. After the run, the Blue Devil defense turned in a double play at home and first to prevent another run.
Following the defensive maneuver, a walked batter and a Central error loaded the bases and allowed three runs to cross the plate to put Hofstra up 4-0.
The Blue Devils struggled to get out of the first inning and the Pride posted two more runs to send the teams into the top of the second 6-0.
A single from freshman Hannah Cooper in the top of the second landed the Blue Devils on base and senior Sarah Emery took pinch-running position for Cooper. Emery, however, was stranded on base at the conclusion of the half inning.
The Prides' Caryn Bailey hit a homer in the bottom of the second to bring in two runs, totaling three for the inning to increase their advantage to 9-0.
Following the pitcher change in the bottom of the third, the Blue Devils held the Pride scoreless through the fourth inning before the game ended on a mercy rule after the top of the fifth.
Game 2 vs. UConn
Sophomore Laura Messina pitched the full seven innings for Central posting six strikeouts, allowing 10 hits and only one walk. With the loss, Messina's record falls to 4-4.
It was the Huskies (9-7) who struck first in the top of the first inning when, with two outs, Kim Silva hit a solo homer over the center field wall to put Connecticut up 1-0.
The Blue Devils responded by loading the bases in the bottom of the first on a pair of singles from Springer and classmate Kelsey Barlow and a Bruno walk. A fly-out to right field, however, left all three on base at the conclusion of the inning.
Central got on the board in the bottom of the third. Malcolm smacked a double to right center and scored on a Barlow single to shortstop to notch the tying run. The Blue Devils then took a 2-1 lead when pinch-runner Emery scored on a single through the left side by freshman Evie Rentzel.
A two-run homer in the top of the fourth by UConn's Marissa Gouches put the Huskies back on top 3-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, with two outs and freshman Brittany Ernst on third and Cooper on first, freshman Evie Rentzel sent a single through the right side that sent Ernst across the plate to tie the game at three. The Blue Devils loaded the bases and then took the lead when senior Stephanie Chotkevys was hit by a pitch to advance freshman Gianna Sandstrom across the plate.
Bruno followed and ripped a pitch through the left side to drive in freshman Eileen Purcell and Rentzel to increase the lead to 6-3.
The Huskies posted five runs in the top of the seventh in response to the CCSU Rally to regain the lead and end the game, 8-6.
Central posted seven hits, six RBI and only two strikeouts in the loss.
The Blue Devils will return to action tomorrow, Sunday, March 17, for the second day of the Hofstra Tournament. Central will face Hofstra at 1:30 p.m. followed by UConn at 4 p.m.
Blue Devil fans can follow the action live via live stats.