The Central Connecticut softball team split a doubleheader at home on Senior Day on Sunday against the Sacred Heart Pioneers. The Blue Devils shutout the Pioneers 5-0 in the first game before dropping the second game by a score of 8-5 for the split. The split moves CCSU's record to 16-24-1 overall on the season and 5-7 in Northeast Conference play, while Sacred Heart goes to 13-34-2 overall and 4-12 in league play.
Game 1 - CCSU 5, SHU 0
Central scored a run in the second, two in the bottom of the fifth and then two more in the sixth to earn a 5-0 victory in game one on Sunday in New Britain.
The Blue Devils jumped out to an early lead with a run in the top of the second inning. Sophomore Brittany McNulla led off the frame with a single to center field and then moved to second after classmate Tori Constantin was hit-by-pitch. The duo each moved up a base following a wild pitch and then senior Hannah Cooper drove in McNulla with a sacrifice fly to left field to make it 1-0.
Central then extended its lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning with back-to-back home runs. Sophomore Brittany Camara hit the first one, launching her second home run of the season deep over the center field fence. Senior Eileen Purcell then followed with her second home run in as many days with a blast over the left field wall to make it 3-0. The home run was the third of the season for Purcell.
CCSU tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to secure the 5-0 victory. Senior Katie Schmidt drove in the first run with a RBI single up the middle to bring home sophomore Alexis Debrosse who had singled earlier in the inning. Camara capped the scoring with a RBI single two batters later bringing home Schmidt.
Sophomore Emily Sargent picked up the win for the Blue Devils in the circle in the opener twirling her third complete game shutout of the season. Sargent improved to 11-10 on the season with the win after scattering seven hits and a walk over 7.0 scoreless innings, while striking out five.
Camara led Central at the plate in game one finishing 3-for-4 with a home run, double, two RBI and a run scored. Schmidt also logged a multi-hit game going 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored.
Game 2 - CCSU 5, SHU 8
Sacred Heart out-hit the Blue Devils 11-7 and hit three home runs to take the second game of the twin bill 8-5 on Sunday afternoon.
The Pioneers struck first in game two plating a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. A double and bunt single to start the game put runners on the corners before Hailey Desrosiers singled down the third base line to drive in the first run of the game and make it 1-0. Kelyn Fillmore then followed two batters later with a RBI single through the right side to put SHU up 2-0.
The Blue Devils would answer though in the bottom of the third inning and scored a pair of runs to tie the game 2-2. Debrosse led off the frame and belted a solo home run over the center field fence, her third of the season, to bring it to 2-1. Three batters later, Paterson doubled off the base of the fence in left center field to drive in Cooper, who had walked earlier in the inning, and tie the game.
SHU fired right back with two runs in the top of the third inning to retake the lead 4-2. Fallon Bevino smacked her third home run of the year, a two-run home run, over the right field fence to build the 4-2 lead. Chloe Weeks then lifted a home run over the left field wall to extend the Pioneers lead to 5-2 in the top of the fourth inning. The home run was the first of the season for Weeks.
Sacred Heart would go on to build its lead to 7-2 in the top of the fifth inning with two more runs. After Andrea Sidor reached on a Blue Devil error, Fillmore sent the third home run of the game by the Pioneers deep over the left field wall for a two-run home run to account for the pair of runs. The home run marked the third long ball of the year by Fillmore.
Central would not go down quietly though and responded with a big fifth inning of its own. Camara led off the inning with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch and then was driven home on a RBI double by Purcell to cut the deficit to 7-3. Rentzel batted next and sent a two-run home run well over the center field wall to bring the Blue Devils within 7-5. The home run was the third of the season for Rentzel.
The Pioneers bounced right back with an insurance run in the top of the sixth though to make it 8-5 and SHU's Jamie Carlson came on in relief and recorded the final nine outs of the game without allowing a hit to preserve the win for the Pioneers.
Freshman Alex Casanas was handed the loss for the Blue Devils in game two. She pitched the first 3.0 innings allowing four earned runs on seven hits and struck out one. Sargent came on in relief and worked the final 4.0 innings allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks, while striking out a pair.
Rentzel and Purcell led the Blue Devils at the plate in game two as they each finished 2-for-4. Purcell had a double, RBI and a run scored, while Rentzel finished with a home run, two RBI and a run scored.
The CCSU softball team will return to action next as they travel to Robert Morris for a doubleheader on Wednesday, May 4. First pitch of game one is slated for 12 noon.