Central Connecticut softball senior Kelsey Barlow and sophomore Laura Messina were honored with NEC weekly awards on Monday. The duo led the Blue Devils to their highest conference finish in CCSU history this week as they clinched an NEC Tournament berth and at least a share of the regular season title.
Messina earns NEC Pitcher of the Week honors for the second week straight and fourth time this season after a 4-1 week, including two shutouts against Rhode Island and Quinnipiac. The sophomore tallied 21 strikeouts, surpassing her own CCSU single-season strikeout record of 207. She now has 210 on the season. In 30 innings, she posted a 1.17 ERA, allowed just five earned runs and walked only one batter in five games. She also allowed only three hits or less in three of her five games last week.
Barlow earns NEC Co-Player of the Week after she registered seven hits, five runs and 12 RBI this week. Her seven hits included four home runs, one of which was a grand slam in the 10-2 five-inning win over Quinnipiac on Sunday. She smacked a homer in the bottom of the eighth inning against Robert Morris as well. Barlow tops the CCSU career home run record and, after this week, ties the Central record for most career RBI. She finished the week batting .350 and slugging .950.
The Blue Devils will travel to Maryland-Eastern Shore for a doubleheader on May 1 to close the regular season before gearing up for the NEC Tournament on May 9-11.