Senior Day Softball Sweep Clinches NEC Tourney Berth
The Central Connecticut softball team swept Mount St. Mary's on Sunday's senior day in a doubleheader in New Britain, CT by scores of 3-2 and 2-0 to clinch their second-straight NEC Tournament berth. The Blue Devils close NEC regular season play 11-5, dropping the Mount to 7-7.
With Sunday's wins, CCSU improves to 27-14 overall while the Mountaineers fall to 19-22-1 on the season.
Junior Laura Messina pitched both games in the circle for CCSU, notching her 12th shutout of the season in game two. In game one, Messina allowed two hits and struck out eight of 26 batters. In game two, she allowed just one hit and added four strikeouts to total 12 on the day. With the sweep, Messina's record improves to 22-11 on the season.
After falling to the Mountaineers early on a two-run homer in the top of the first, the Blue Devils battled a 2-0 deficit for five innings.
It wasn't until the bottom of the sixth that freshman Alexis Debrosse tied it up with a two-run homer to drive in Brown, who reached on error.
CCSU tallied six hits in 27 at bats compared to two in 23 for the Mount.
CCSU put the first run on the board in the bottom of the second. Debrosse reached base on a Mount error to lead off the inning. A sacrifice bunt from junior Kat Malcolm followed by a single off the bat of freshman Sarah Drazin plated Debrosse to give CCSU a narrow 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, with two outs and runners on the corners, Bruno shot a single through the left side to drive home pinch runner Brittany Ernst for the insurance run.
CCSU was able to hold off a Mount comeback attempt in the top of the seventh as the squad posted its only hit of the game in the inning, preventing the no-hitter for Messina.
Both squads committed just one error in the field in game two. At the plate, CCSU tallied nine hits, three of which came from Bruno. The senior went 3-for-4 while driving in one RBI. Drazin and junior Ashley Black each posted two hits in the win while Rentzel and Cooper each added one.
The Mountaineers tallied just one hit in game two. Mount St. Mary's pitcher Nicole Pagano pitched six innings, striking out four and allowing one earned run.
The Blue Devils are scheduled to return to action on Tuesday, April 29, when they travel to Hofstra for a doubleheader. Central will then return to New Britain for one last home game of the season on Thursday, May 1, against Quinnipiac before traveling to Smithfield, RI for the 2014 NEC Tournament May 8-11 hosted by Bryant.