Junior Laura Messina struck out a career-high 15 batters on Thursday afternoon in CCSU's 1-0 shutout of UMass-Lowell in game one of a doubleheader in New Britain, CT. Central followed up the win with another shutout, an 8-0 victory, in five innings over the River Hawks (7-20).
With the win, the Blue Devils improve to 18-11 (4-2 NEC) overall on the season.
Messina earned her 18th complete game of the season in Central's game one win, improving her record to 14-8. The shutout marks the seventh of the season for Messina, the 26th of her career. Prior to Thursday's game, the junior was ranked 17th in the nation with six shutouts. She allowed four hits on the day.
Junior Kat Malcolm blasted a one-out solo homer in the top of the first to score CCSU's only run of the game.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Blue Devils almost added an insurance run on a blast over the fence from sophomore Hannah Cooper, but Cooper was called out at home after missing home plate.
Both squads posted four hits and one error in game one.
Senior Julie Marks earned the win for the Blue Devils, her third straight, in a five-inning game two. She posted two strikeouts in 4.0 innings, walking two, while allowing just one hit in 16 batters faced. Marks was relieved by senior Emily Pogemiller in the top of the fifth who allowed two hits in 1.0 inning. With the win, Marks' record improves to 3-3 on the season
The Blue Devils added one more in the second on a single through the right side from freshman Sami Duffy before breaking the game open in the bottom of the third with four runs.
In the bottom of the third, Central scored four runs on four hits including a three-run homer from sophomore Eileen Purcell, her first of the season.
The Blue Devils added two more in the fourth to make it an eight run lead. Freshman Alexis Debrosse kicked off the inning with a triple down the right field line followed by an RBI single from Brown. Another single from sophomore Hannah Cooper plated Brown for the 8-0 advantage.
CCSU tallied 11 hits in 20 at bats in game two, earning three walks and leaving six runners stranded on base. The River Hawks posted three hits in 17 at bats and left five on base.
Purcell led CCSU on offense going 2-for-2 at the plate and tallying two runs and three RBI. Debrosse also went 2-for-2 and scored two more.
The Blue Devils are set to return to action on Saturday, April 12, when they travel to Fairleigh Dickinson to make up a doubleheader that was postponed due to weather conditions March 30. They will continue their road stint with another NEC match-up on Sunday at Bryant.