Messina, Blue Devils Shutout SFU Twice on Saturday

Messina, Blue Devils Shutout SFU Twice on Saturday

The Central Connecticut softball team swept a doubleheader with the Saint Francis U Red Flash on Saturday afternoon in New Britain. The Blue Devils topped the Red Flash 5-0 in game one before earning a 6-0 victory in the night cap. With the wins CCSU improves to 27-8 overall on the season and 11-1 in Northeast Conference action. Saint Francis drops to 29-15 and 7-5 in the league.

Game #1 - CCSU 5, SFU 0

Senior Laura Messina threw her first of two complete games on Saturday, firing a four hit shutout in game one. The workhorse struck out six SFU batters over seven frames to earn the 5-0 win in the circle for the Blue Devils.

Senior Kat Malcolm got the Blue Devils on the board early with a solo home run to right centerfield in the bottom of the first inning. The shot was the sixth of the year for Malcolm and the 23rd of her career.

Central added to their lead with three runs in the bottom of the third inning. Junior Katie Schmidt led off the inning with a double to right center before freshman Brittany Camara blasted a RBI triple off the right field wall to make it 2-0 CCSU.

Malcolm then drove in her second run of the game and brought home Camara from third with a RBI ground out before junior Eileen Purcell completed the scoring in the inning with a RBI single through the right side to give the Blue Devils a 4-0 advantage.

The Blue Devils continued to build on their lead with another run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Schmidt logged her second hit of the game with a single to second base and then came around to score following a clutch two-out, RBI single from senior Ashley Black.

The lead proved to be more than enough for Messina as she threw her 13th shutout of the season. She didn't allow a Red Flash player to reach past second base in the win, improving her record to 22-4 on the year.

Schmidt, Malcolm and Black paced the CCSU offense in game one. Schmidt finished a perfect 3-for-3 with a double and two runs scored and Malcolm went 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI's. Black drove in a run and also scored one, finishing game one 2-for-4.

Game 2 - CCSU 6, SFU 0

Central mustered just five hits, but took advantage of five Red Flash walks and a pair of errors to score two runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings for a 6-0 victory in game two on Saturday.

Purcell got things going for Central in game two and in a big way. The junior launched a two-run home run over the left field wall in the third inning to give the Blue Devils an early 2-0 lead. The home run marks the third long ball of the season for Purcell and eighth of her career.

Purcell then picked up her third RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly followed by a RBI single from freshman Tori Constantin in the bottom of the fifth inning to push the Central lead to 4-0. Freshman Brittany Camara led off the inning with a double down the right field line and Malcolm walked to set the table for Purcell and Constantin.

The Blue Devils added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Sophomore Sarah Drazin walked and Schmidt singled through the left side to put runners on the corners for the top of the CCSU order with one out. Camara drove in Drazin with a sacrifice fly to center field to plate the first run and then Black doubled over the left fielder's head to bring home Schmidt to give Central the 6-0 margin of victory.

Messina was magnificent in the circle again for CCSU in game two. For the second straight game she didn't allow a Red Flash player to advance beyond second base as she spun her second complete game shutout of the day and 14th shutout of the season. Messina struck out seven in the night cap without issuing a walk.

Purcell led the way at the plate in game two, finishing 1-for-3 with the home run and three RBI's. Camara and Black each also went 1-for-3 in game two with a double and a RBI.

The Blue Devils will return to action tomorrow with another NEC doubleheader at home against the Robert Morris Colonials. It is the final regular season home games of the season for the Blue Devils and Senior Day will be celebrated on the CCSU Softball Field prior to the start of the contests. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 12 p.m.

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