Junior Tori Constantin's heroic seventh inning two-out solo homer lifted the Central Connecticut softball team to a 3-2 extra inning win at Sacred Heart in the second game of Sunday's doubleheader. Junior Brittany McNulla was credited for the go-ahead RBI single in the top of the eighth inning, and junior pitcher Alex Casañas earned her second straight complete game win.
Sacred Heart stole game one from the Blue Devils, 2-0. Four different hitters for CCSU collected a hit in game one. Central moves its record to 7-17 and 3-5 in the Northeast Conference, and the Pioneers are now 9-16 and 1-1 in the league.
In the first game on Sunday afternoon, Central and Sacred Heart were held scoreless through the first four innings, combining for just three hits in the pitching duel between CCSU junior Emily Sargent and the Pioneer's Jamie Carlson.
Sacred Heart scored the game's only two runs in the bottom half of the fifth inning off of three singles. Sophomore Kerri Dadalski, the Blue Devil's designated player, responded in the top of the sixth inning with a two-out ground rule double shot to left field, but was left on base bringing SHU back up to the plate.
The Blue Devils held strong in the top of the seventh, bringing sophomore second baseman Kaitlin Paterson up to the bat to lead off in their last chance for a comeback. Constantin hit a single to center field with two outs, but the rally was halted as CCSU hit into a ground out to complete game one.
Sargent struck out six Pioneers and only surrendered one walk through six innings in the circle for Central. The junior pitcher moves her overall record to 5-13 on the year.
The Blue Devils jumped on the board 1-0 at their first at bats during the second game of the doubleheader. Junior Brittany Camara gave CCSU its first hit of the contest on a single to the right side of the diamond, and scored on an errant dropped third strike throw to first base from Sacred Heart's catcher.
SHU would respond with a pair of hits and a run to tie the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the first inning. In the third inning, Camara continued to produce on the offensive end, recording another single, but would be left on base. In the bottom of the fourth inning Sacred Heart took a 2-1 lead on an RBI double to right that held until the top of the seventh inning.
With two outs and no runners on, Constantin delivered a solo jack to center field that tying the game at 2-2. The Blue Devils kept the momentum rolling as they retired the Sacred Heart batters one-two-three after a lead off walk sending the game to extras.
In the top of the eighth inning, junior Alexis Debrosse reached first on an error from the third baseman, and advanced to scoring position off a wild pitch from the slightly dismantled Hannah Ford. McNulla then rocketed a single to center field, that was enough to score speedy Debrosse from second, as CCSU took the 3-2 lead.
Casañas (2-1) calmly finished the game forcing two flyouts and struck out her fourth batter of the contest, sealing the win for Central.
The Blue Devils return to action on Tuesday, April 11 for a pair of nonconference games at Siena in Loudonville, N.Y. at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.