The Central Connecticut softball team is scheduled to host its first home match-up of the season this Saturday, March 29, at 10 a.m. in a doubleheader vs. Sacred Heart at the CCSU Softball Field. The Blue Devils (10-9) will face the Pioneers (9-8) in the NEC opener for both teams.
The Blue Devils enter Saturday's doubleheader coming off of a split with Cornell at the Delaware State Tournament last weekend. Central topped Cornell 1-0 in game one, followed by a 5-0 loss to the Big Red in game two. CCSU also faced two ranked opponents last week, falling to #1 Florida by a score of 8-2 and #25 USF 3-2.
The Pioneers are coming off of 3-2 win on Thursday afternoon to Fairfield.
Last season, Central hosted Sacred Heart on April 6, posting back-to-back shutouts in the doubleheader. Junior Laura Messina pitched both games for CCSU, tallying 14 strikeouts while allowing nine hits and walking just two batters.
So far this season, Messina has registered 95 strikeouts and four shutouts in 15 appearances in the circle. The two-time 2014 NEC Pitcher of the Week and 2013 All-NEC First Team honoree posts a 1.84 ERA on the season. She ranks as the winningest pitcher in CCSU history (59) with the most shutouts (23) and the most strikeouts (548).
Last year, the Blue Devils recorded a record-breaking season besting the program record for most wins in a single season for the third year in a row. Central posted a 36-15 record (16-4 NEC), earning its first NEC Co-Regular Season Championship, first NEC Championship, first NCAA Regional appearance and first NCAA Regional victory.
The Blue Devils will travel to face Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday before returning home for three-straight. CCSU will host Holy Cross for a single game on Wednesday, April 2, LIU for a doubleheader Saturday April 5 and Wagner in another NEC doubleheader on Sunday, April 6.