Softball Falls Twice at Bryant on Saturday

Softball Falls Twice at Bryant on Saturday

The Central Connecticut softball team dropped a pair of games on the road to the Bryant Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon in Smithfield, RI. Bryant took game one by a score of 3-2 before topping the Blue Devils 5-3 in game two to complete the sweep. With the losses, Central falls to 15-23-1 overall on the year and 4-6 in Northeast Conference play, while Bryant improves to 9-33 overall and 7-7 in NEC action.

Game 1 - CCSU 2, BRYANT 3

Bryant's Jessica Gradillas' two-out, RBI double in the bottom of the fifth inning downed the Blue Devils 3-2 in the first game on Saturday afternoon in Smithfield.

The Blue Devils cracked the scoreboard first in the opener though with a run in the top of the fourth inning. Senior Eileen Purcell launched her second home run of the season over the left field fence to give CCSU the early 1-0 edge.

Bryant answered right back however in the bottom half of the inning and scored a pair of runs to take a 2-1 lead. Kaleigh Goulart used the long ball to give the Bulldogs the lead driving a two-run home run down the left field line.

Central tied the game in the top of the fifth inning. Senior Katie Schmidt doubled to left-center field to bring home freshman Carli Shaw all the way from first base to make to 2-2. Shaw pinch ran at first for sophomore Brittany McNulla who singled to lead off the inning.

That setup the game-winning RBI double by Gradillas in the bottom half of the fifth inning to give Bryant the 3-2 victory. Lauren Keast doubled to left field to get on base before she was driven in by Gradillas two batters later.

The Bulldogs starting pitcher, Elle Madsen, retired the Blue Devils in order in the sixth and the seventh inning to preserve the win. She twirled a complete game four-hitter allowing two earned runs and struck out nine.

Sophomore Emily Sargent took the loss for CCSU to fall to 10-10 overall on the year in the circle. She allowed three earned runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out five over six innings of work.

Game 2 - CCSU 3, BRYANT 5

The Blue Devils fought back and came from behind to tie the score 3-3 in the top of the fifth inning, but Bryant answered with a run in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings to claim a 5-3 victory in game two on Saturday.

Central once again cracked the scoreboard first in game two with a run in the top of the second inning. Senior Evie Rentzel led off the inning with a single to right field before moving up to second after sophomore Alexis Debrosse was hit-by-pitch. McNulla followed with a ground ball to second base that scooted through the legs of the Bryant fielder to bring home Rentzel from second to give CCSU the early 1-0 lead.

The Bulldogs responded immediately though and put up three runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 3-1 lead. A two-out walk to Goulart extended the inning and Bryant made CCSU pay as they strung together three straight hits. Chaney Jones doubled to drive in the first run followed by a RBI triple from Jenna Cali who was then brought in on a RBI single from Madsen.

The Blue Devils would not quit though and fought back to tie the game 3-3 with a run in the top of the fourth and fifth innings. Rentzel logged her second hit of the game and did so in a big way, launching a solo home run over the center field wall to make it 3-2 in the fourth. The home run was the second of the season by Rentzel.

Purcell then knotted the game at 3-3 in the top of the fifth inning with a one-out RBI single to left-center field. The single scored freshman Kaitlin Paterson who had walked to lead off the frame.

Bryant would go on to take the lead for good however in the bottom of the fifth after Hayley Bottino smacked a home run over the center field fence to put the Bulldogs up 4-3. They then added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning to claim the 5-3 victory.

Freshman Alex Casanas was dealt the loss in game two for Central. She pitched 5.0 innings surrendering four earned runs on six hits and a pair of walks and struck out one.

Bottino picked up the win for the Bulldogs tossing 3.0 scoreless innings in relief. She allowed three hits and struck out one.

Rentzel led the way in game two going 3-for-4 with the home run, a RBI and two runs scored.

The Blue Devils will return to action on Sunday as they play their final regular season home games against Sacred Heart. First pitch of game one has been moved up to 10 a.m. and it will be Senior Day as we honor the five graduating seniors on the team.

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