Senior pitcher Laura Messina threw two complete game shutouts as the Central Connecticut softball team swept a Northeast Conference doubleheader against the Sacred Heart Pioneers at Pioneer Park on Saturday. Central topped the Pioneers 3-0 in both contests to improve its record to 17-7 overall and a perfect 4-0 in NEC play on the season. The Pioneers drop to 6-17 overall and 1-5 in the NEC with the losses.
Game #1: CCSU 3 - SHU 0
The Blue Devils jumped on the Pioneers early with a run in the top of the first inning, which would prove to be all Messina would need for the 3-0 victory. Senior Kat Malcolm walked and then advanced to second on a passed ball before junior shortstop Eileen Purcell slapped a single through the right side to bring her home to give CCSU a 1-0 advantage.
Central tacked on a second run in the top of the third inning. Malcolm doubled to right center field to lead off the inning and then freshman Tori Constantin brought her home following a Sacred Heart error.
Junior Evie Rentzel then added an insurance run for the Blue Devils in the top of the fifth inning as she blasted her first home run of the season to left center field to give Central the 3-0 victory. The home run for Rentzel marks the seventh of her career.
Messina worked a complete game two-hit shutout in the first game and struck out 12. She faced 27 Pioneer batters, just six over the minimum, and needed 133 pitches (89 strikes) to improve her record to 12-3 inside the circle on the year.
Constantin stayed hot and paced the Blue Devil offense as she was the only player on either side to have a multi-hit game. She finished 2-for-4 with a double and RBI.
Game #2: CCSU 3 - SHU 0
CCSU used 10 hits in the second game to build another 3-0 lead for senior starter Laura Messina as she twirled her second complete game shutout of the day.
The Blue Devils struck early again in the night cap with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning. Central capitalized on a costly Pioneer error that put runners on second and third with no outs to lead off the inning.
Junior Katie Schmidt drove in the first run with a RBI bunt single to bring in junior Evie Rentzel. Freshman Brittany Camara then plated sophomore Sami Duffy with a sacrifice fly to build the 2-0 CCSU lead.
Similar to the first game, Central added an insurance run in the top of the fourth inning. Camara drove in her second run of the game on a RBI fielder's choice to bring in junior Hannah Cooper who singled earlier in the inning.
The lead would be all Messina would need again as she spun all seven innings allowing just three hits. She struck out 10 of the 27 Pioneer batters she faced, again just six over the minimum, and threw 113 pitches (85 strikes).
Messina now sports an ERA of 1.01 over 117.1 innings of work on the season with 15 complete games and 150 strikeouts. Her record stands at 13-3 and she is just 131 strikeouts away from 1,000 for her career (869).
Senior Ashley Black, Cooper and Schmidt all had two hits apiece to pace the CCSU offense in game two. Schmidt and Cooper both also had an RBI.
The Blue Devils will return to action with another NEC doubleheader on the road at LIU Brooklyn on Thursday, April 9. The games are a makeup from the originally scheduled March 28 doubleheader between the Blue Devils and Blackbirds that was postponed due to inclement weather.
June 10, 2015 Messina Earns First-Team All-ECAC Honors
May 16, 2015 Softball Battles UNC in Elimination Game at 2:30 PM
May 16, 2015 Softball Season Ends vs. UNC in NCAA Tournament
May 15, 2015 Softball Drops NCAA Opener to #14 Georgia
May 15, 2015 CCSU Opens NCAA Tournament vs. Georgia Today, 5 PM
May 10, 2015 CCSU Headed to Athens Regional on Friday
May 8, 2015 CCSU Advances to Championship Game, Tops LIU 6-2
May 6, 2015 Messina, Malcolm Named All-Conference
May 4, 2015 Constantin Tabbed NEC Rookie of the Week
April 30, 2015 Softball Edged by Quinnipiac on Thursday, 2-1
April 28, 2015 Messina Claims ECAC Pitcher of the Week Accolades
April 27, 2015 Messina Named NEC Pitcher of the Week
April 26, 2015 Purcell Powers CCSU to Split with RMU on Senior Day
April 25, 2015 Messina, Blue Devils Shutout SFU Twice on Saturday
April 23, 2015 Softball Wins Two at UMass Lowell on Thursday
April 21, 2015 Messina Earns Third Straight ECAC Weekly Honor
April 20, 2015 Messina Earns Third Straight NEC Weekly Award
April 19, 2015 Softball Splits Doubleheader at Home on Sunday
April 15, 2015 Softball Wins 11 Straight, Tops UConn 3-1 Wednesday
April 14, 2015 Weekly Honors Continue for Messina, Constantin
April 13, 2015 Messina, Constantin Defend NEC Weekly Awards
April 12, 2015 Messina, Rentzel Power Blue Devils Over the Mount
April 11, 2015 Softball Wins Eighth-Straight, Sweeps Wagner Saturday
April 9, 2015 Softball Doubleheader at LIU Postponed Thursday
April 8, 2015 Messina, Constantin Honored by ECAC
April 6, 2015 Softball Duo Earn NEC Weekly Awards
April 4, 2015 Messina, Blue Devils Blank Pioneers Twice on Saturday
April 2, 2015 Softball Takes Two From Fairfield on Thursday
March 29, 2015 Softball Sweeps NEC Doubleheader at Home on Sunday
March 25, 2015 Softball Drops Two Tough Games on the Road Wednesday
March 23, 2015 Malcolm, Messina Honored by NEC
March 19, 2015 Softball Splits With Yale on Thursday
March 17, 2015 Softball Splits With Purdue on Tuesday
March 16, 2015 Softball Edged by USF on Monday Night
March 16, 2015 Malcolm, Camara Earn NEC Softball Weekly Awards
March 15, 2015 Blue Devils Mercy Rule Army in USF Tournament Finale
March 14, 2015 Softball Sweeps on Saturday at USF Tournament
March 13, 2015 Softball Drops Two at USF Tournament Friday
March 10, 2015 Messina, CCSU Softball Sweep Hartford
March 9, 2015 Softball Sweeps NEC Weekly Awards
March 8, 2015 Softball Takes Two More on Sunday
March 7, 2015 Softball Wins Two on Opening Day
March 3, 2015 Updated: Softball Restructures Schedule
February 26, 2015 Softball's Opening Weekend Cancelled
February 12, 2015 Softball Predicted to Win Second NEC Championship
January 28, 2015 Messina Named to USA Softball POY Watch List
January 26, 2015 Messina Ranked Among the Nation's Elite