The Central Connecticut softball team opened the 2014 season with a 4-0 shutout victory over Campbell University (9-8) on Friday followed by a 4-2 loss to Georgia State (9-5) Friday evening.
GAME #1 vs. Campbell
Junior Laura Messina tallied 10 strikeouts in the win and allowed just five hits in seven innings.
CCSU (1-0) got the scoring started early posting two runs in the top of the first. Junior and 2013 NEC Player of the Year Kat Malcolm ripped a double to left center, moving senior Arielle Bruno, who walked to first, to third base. Bruno notched CCSU's first run on a passed ball to give CCSU a 1-0 lead. Malcolm advanced to third as Bruno scored.
Senior Tessa Brown drilled a single up the middle to score Malcolm and give the Blue Devils a 2-0 lead.
CCSU held the 2-0 advantage until the top of the fifth when the Blue Devils struck again. With runners on first and third, sophomore Evie Rentzel belted a sacrifice fly to left field to drive freshman Alexis Debrosse home, making the score 3-0. Malcolm followed up with an RBI single, plating Bruno for her second run of the game.
Central posted six hits in the game, three from Malcolm and one each from Rentzel, Brown and freshman Sarah Drazin. Malcolm went three-for-three from the plate with one double, one run, one stolen base and one RBI.
The Camels tallied five hits in 25 at bats.
Messina's 10 strikeouts bring her career total to 463, adding to her CCSU program record. She also adds to her shutout record which now stands at 20.
GAME #2 vs. Georgia State
The Blue Devils followed Friday afternoon's shutout with an evening loss to Georgia State 4-2.
Senior Julie Marks takes the loss for CCSU allowing nine hits and four runs, only one of which was earned. Marks also tallied four strikeouts and just two walks in seven innings.
Georgia State got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. The Panthers added one more in the top of the third to increase their lead to two.
In the top of the sixth, GSU tallied two more runs. A double by Taylor Anderson drove in the Panther's third run of the game, followed by a sacrifice fly for their fourth and final run.
The Blue Devils answered in the bottom of the sixth with two runs of their own. Drazin and sophomore Eileen Purcell each crossed the plate, one on a GSU error, the other on a single by sophomore Brittany Ernst.
The pair would be the only runs for Central in the game as the CCSU comeback fell short.
The Blue Devils tallied five hits from five different batters. CCSU also left eight runners on base in the loss.
Central continues competition at the USF Under Armour Invitational tomorrow, Saturday, March 1, against Toledo at 11:45 a.m. The Blue Devils will also face Stanford at 4:30 p.m.