The Central Connecticut softball team shut out Fairleigh Dickinson twice on Saturday afternoon by scores of 1-0 and 5-0 in Hackensack, N.J. to continue their win streak. The Blue Devils have won their last seven games, five of which have been shutouts. With the sweep, CCSU improves to 20-11 on the season, 6-2 in the NEC.
Junior Laura Messina pitched all 14 innings against the Knights (10-15, 1-3 NEC). She posted nine strikeouts in game one before adding 10 in game two to total 19 on the day, increasing her CCSU program career record to 622. She faced 51 batters, walking just one, while allowing a total of eight hits.
Prior to this week's contests, Messina was ranked 17th in the nation in shutouts with six. She has added three more this week, totaling nine for the season including four in NEC play. With Saturday's wins, Messina's record improves to 16-8 overall.
A solo homer off the bat of senior Arielle Bruno in the top of the third gave CCSU the 1-0 advantage over the Knights. Bruno, who ranks second in CCSU history in home runs (23), went 2-for-3 at the plate, tallying two of CCSU's three hits on the day including her home run and a double, her fifth of the season.
Sami Duffy posted the only other hit of the game for CCSU, a single through the left side to lead off the sixth. The freshman went hitless in the first eight games of her career, but has registered at least one hit in each of her last five, including a double at Holy Cross on Wednesday, April 9.
FDU's Megan Reiner (7-4) takes the loss for the Knights while striking out eight Blue Devils. Fairleigh Dickinson posted three hits and left four runners on base. CCSU also tallied three hits but left just two on base. Both squads completed the game errorless in the field.
After a narrow 1-0 win over the Knights in game one, CCSU got started early in game two with an RBI single from senior Tessa Brown in the top of the first. Brown plated Bruno who led off with a single.
Bruno kicked off the top of the third in similar fashion with another single and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Evie Rentzel. Brown stepped up to the plate with another RBI single to drive in Bruno and put CCSU up by two.
The Blue Devils added two more in the top of the fifth to clinch the victory. Junior Kat Malcolm blasted a double, her sixth of the season, to score Brown who had reached on a single. Malcolm's double was followed up by another from Purcell, also her sixth, plating Malcolm for the 5-0 advantage.
Central posted 11 hits in game two compared to just five for FDU. The Knights committed three errors on the day as Reiner took her second loss of the afternoon, dropping her record to 7-5.
Bruno carried over her impressive performance in game one into the day's second match-up. She went 3-for-4 at the plate in game two while scoring two runs. Bruno scored three of CCSU's six runs on the day and went 5-for-7 at the plate.
The Blue Devils return to action tomorrow for another NEC doubleheader as they face Bryant on the road in Smithfield, RI. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.