Softball Edges Oakland in Elon Softball Tournament Opener

Softball Edges Oakland in Elon Softball Tournament Opener

The Central Connecticut softball team edged the Oakland Golden Grizzlies, 3-1, in its opening game of the Elon Softball Tournament on Friday afternoon at Hunt Softball Park in Elon, NC. Senior Evie Rentzel delivered the game-winning hit with a two-out RBI double in the top of the fourth inning to lift the Blue Devils to victory. It marks the third straight win for the Blue Devils as they improve to 4-6 overall on the season.

The Golden Grizzles, who fall to 4-10 on the year with the loss, got on the scoreboard first plating their only run of the game in the bottom of the third inning. With two outs and nobody on, senior Sarah Hartley blasted a solo shot over the left-center field wall to give Oakland an early 1-0 lead.

The Blue Devils responded immediately though and answered with a pair of runs in the top half of the fourth inning to take the lead for good. Following a pair of groundouts, CCSU put together a two-out rally as sophomore Alexis Debrosse got things started with a double to left field. Senior Eileen Purcell then tied the game after she singled to short and the Oakland shortstop threw the ball away attempting to get Purcell out at first, which allowed Debrosse to scamper home to make it 1-1. Rentzel followed with the clutch hit of the game sending a double into the right-center field gap to bring home Purcell and put the Blue Devils up 2-1.

Central then tacked on an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning off the bat of sophomore Brittany Camara to make it 3-1 Blue Devils. Classmate Tori Constantin led off the final frame with a single to left field. She was pinch run for by freshman Carli Shaw who was moved up to second following a successful sacrifice bunt by senior Hannah Cooper and then driven home by Camara. Sophomore Emily Sargent didn't allow any hope for a late comeback as she set the Golden Grizzlies down in order to secure the 3-1 victory.

Sargent was brilliant inside the circle once again for the Blue Devils. After posting a three-hit shutout in the first game of a doubleheader against Hartford on Wednesday, she followed allowing just one run on four hits and a walk with a season-high eight strikeouts on Friday. She faced 26 batters, just five over the minimum, and fired 71 strikes in 104 total pitches. The win improves her record to 3-1 on the year in the circle.

Central had six hits in the win. Purcell led the way and was the only player on either team with a multi-hit game finishing 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Rentzel and Camara each finished 1-for-3 with a RBI.

The Blue Devils will return to the diamond tomorrow for the second day of the Elon Softball Tournament. They will play a split doubleheader squaring off in a rematch with Oakland at 10 a.m. before taking on Niagara at approximately 4:45 p.m.