Junior Laura Messina of the Central Connecticut softball team was named NEC Pitcher of Year for her impressive efforts in the circle this season, the NEC announced Wednesday.
In addition to the Pitcher of the Year honor, Messina was also named to the All-NEC First Team where she was joined by senior Arielle Bruno and junior Kat Malcolm. Senior Tessa Brown was also honored by the conference as she was named to the All-NEC Second Team.
Messina, who was named NEC Pitcher of the Week an impressive six times this season, completed the regular season tied for first in the nation with 13 shutouts and led the conference in strikeouts (240), batters struck out looking (58) and posts a season ERA of 1.42. The junior has broken five CCSU career pitching records in her tenure as a Blue Devil including most wins (73), most complete games (93), most shutouts (32), most strikeouts (693) and most innings pitched (690.0).
Messina led the Blue Devils to their first NEC Championship in program history last season and returns this weekend in hopes of defending the title. She also set several single-season records in her first two years at CCSU and needs only seven more strikeouts to break her single-season record of 246 which she set in 2013.
Bruno was named to the All-NEC First Team after posting an impressive season for the Blue Devils. The senior leads the squad with a .355 batting average, 49 hits and 28 runs. She also holds four CCSU career records including most hits (219), most runs scored (148) and is ranked in the top 10 in 10-of-11 offensive categories.
In addition to holding four records, Bruno also ranks second in home runs (24) and in doubles (33).
Malcolm earned a spot on the All-NEC First Team after finishing the regular season second on the team with a .312 batting average. She is also second on the team with 39 hits and 22 runs and has driven in 20 RBI. The third-year Blue Devil has posted eight doubles, two triples and four home runs this season. Malcolm also ranks in the top 10 in seven-of-11 CCSU career offensive categories and was named NEC Player of the Week on March 3.
Brown posted a .282 batting average through the regular season this year. She was named NEC Player of the Week on March 31 and has registered 35 hits including three doubles and one triple. The senior has also driven in 19 RBI.
Brown entered the 2014 season in the top 10 in just one offensive CCSU career category and nears the end of her senior campaign ranked in six. She is ranked fourth in CCSU program history with 531 at bats, tied for fourth in hits (155), seventh in RBI (78) and tied for sixth in doubles (27). Brown also cracked into the top 10 in runs scored (70).
The Blue Devils are back in action Thursday, May 8, at 2 p.m. against Fairleigh Dickinson in Smithfield, RI for their first game of the 2014 NEC Tournament.