The Central Connecticut softball team rebounded in game two of a doubleheader against Robert Morris in Moon Township, PA on Saturday. CCSU dropped game one by a score of 2-1 before taking game two 2-1. Central's record moves to 23-14 overall with the split, 9-5 NEC while Robert Morris is now 22-21 (5-7 NEC).
Sophomore Eileen Purcell scored the only run for CCSU in game one on her second homer of the season in the bottom of the second inning. In game two, pinch runner Brittany Ernst was driven in by freshman Alexis Debrosse for the winning run in the top of the fifth.
Junior Laura Messina (19-11) registered her 200th strikeout of the season in game one, posting six before adding five more in game two. She pitched both games for CCSU, allowing just seven hits in 49 at bats. Messina did not walk a single batter throughout both games.
In the top of the second, Purcell stepped to the plate with two outs on the board to send a shot over the left center wall, scoring the lone run for the Blue Devils.
The Colonials responded in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run homer from Kristen Gabelt to give RMU the win.
Central tallied three hits on the day, one each from Purcell, junior Kat Malcolm and senior Arielle Bruno. Robert Morris totaled four hits and RMU pitcher Nicole Sleith earned nine strikeouts en route to her 14th win of the season, compared to six for Messina.
Central kicked off game two in similar fashion, registering the first run of the game in the top of the second inning.
Purcell led off the inning with a march to first after getting hit by Sleith in the batter's box before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Malcolm. A single up the middle from freshman Sarah Drazin brought Purcell across the plate to give CCSU the 1-0 lead.
The Blue Devils increased the lead to two in the top of the fifth when Debrosse, who reached first on a fielder's choice, drove in Ernst. Ernst pinch ran for sophomore Hannah Cooper, who reached base on a walk.
The Colonials threatened a comeback in the bottom of the seventh, plating an unearned run with just one out. Messina responded with back-to-back strikeouts to close the inning and seal the win for Central.
The Blue Devils posted five hits in 24 at bats compared to three hits in 26 for the Colonials. RMU pitcher Sleith struck out nine CCSU batters compared to five for Messina.
CCSU is scheduled to return to action this Wednesday, April 23, for a doubleheader at UMass-Lowell before returning home to complete conference play against Mount St. Mary's on Sunday, April 27.