The Central Connecticut softball team recorded losses against Hofstra, 12-6, and the University of Connecticut, 10-2, in the conclusion of the Hofstra Tournament on Sunday in Hempstead, NY. The Blue Devils were led by senior Kelsey Barlow who posted three RBI as well as juniors Arielle Bruno and Tessa Brown and freshmen Evie Rentzel and Hannah Cooper who each added one on the day. Rentzel also led the Blue Devils against the Huskies with two of six hits and sophomore Kat Malcolm went 3-for-4 against the Pride. Central's record drops to 8-9.
"We played two great teams today," Head Coach Jeff Franquet said. "Offensively, we had some solid hits including a home run by Nicole, Arielle and Kelsey. Overall, I think our team put forth a solid effort and we are looking forward to our next match up against Fairfield."
Game 1 vs. Hofstra
Sophomore Laura Messina started for the Blue Devils. She gave up seven hits in three innings including three home runs. Senior Jordan Tingley took to the circle in the top of the fourth for Central and completed the game allowing ten hits and six runs. Messina takes the loss and her record drops to 4-5.
Three home runs by the Pride (11-8) in the first three innings resulted in six runs for Hofstra by the bottom of the third.
In the bottom of the first, the Blue Devils' lead-off batter, Bruno, launched a solo home run down the left field line in response to put Central on the board 3-1.
A double by Rentzel in the bottom of the second, her fourth extra-base hit of the season, threatened to add another run to the board, however, Rentzel was left stranded on third at the conclusion of the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Brown smacked a double down the right field line to plate Malcolm, who had reached base on a single up the middle, to add another Blue Devil run, 6-2 Hofstra.
The Pride added three more runs in the top of the fifth on a single down the left field line and a pair of stolen bases to increase the Hofstra lead to 9-2.
Two home runs for three RBI in the top of the seventh increased the Hofstra lead to 12-2.
The Blue Devils attempted a comeback in the bottom of the seventh with a single and RBI from Brown and a three-run homer to left center by Barlow, driving in Brown and pinch-hitting freshman Brittany Ernst to reduce the deficit to 12-6. The home run is the first of the season for Barlow and the 20th of her career.
CCSU totaled 10 hits compared to 17 for the Pride in the loss. Central smashed two home runs and hit two doubles while accumulating only nine strikeouts. The Blue Devils committed two errors and left six runners stranded on base.
Game 2 vs. UConn
Senior Nicole Springer pitched the first three innings for the Blue Devils against the Huskies (9-8). She faced 20 batters, allowed 10 hits and posted one strikeout. Springer was relieved by Tingley in the bottom of the fourth and junior Julie Marks made her first appearance of the season in the bottom of the fifth. Springer takes the loss and her record drops to 3-2.
Springer blasted a home run to left field in the top of the first inning to kick off the game with a 1-0 Central lead.
The Huskies matched the run with an RBI double in the bottom of the first to tie the game 1-1. They followed it up with a two-run homer in the bottom of the second to pull ahead 3-1 and added five more in the bottom of the third to increase the lead to 8-1.
In the top of the fourth, Central opened the inning with a Barlow single to shortstop and another from Renzel through the left side. With no outs and two on base, Cooper smacked a single down the left line to drive in Barlow and notch the second Blue Devil run of the game, 8-2. Three consecutive CCSU outs ended the half inning with Rentzel stranded half-way around the bases.
UConn added an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth, bringing the score to 9-2 and one more in the bottom of the fifth to put the Huskies up by eight and end the game on a mercy rule.
Central totaled six hits, including one home run, and only four strikeouts and left five runners stranded on base.
The Blue Devils return to action on Wednesday, March 20, in a doubleheader against Fairfield in Fairfield, CT at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The match-up will be the final opportunity for Central to prepare for conference competition as CCSU will open NEC play against Wagner on March 23.