The Central Connecticut softball team split its Northeast Conference opener on Friday against Sacred Heart at CCSU Softball Field in New Britain, CT. The Blue Devils topped the Pioneers 9-6 in game one and fell 1-0 in game two as they improved to 10-17 on the season and 1-1 in the league.
SHU (16-12, 1-1 NEC) struck out five times against CCSU's senior ace, Emily Sargent, in the first game as she improved to 6-7 on the year. Central will be back in action tomorrow at Fairleigh Dickinson for a doubleheader in Teaneck, NJ beginning at 1:00 p.m.
Two hits, two walks, a hit batter and an error on a pickoff play to first base allowed Central Connecticut to score four runs in the bottom of its first inning of NEC action. In the stanza, seniors Lex Debrosse and Tori Constantin recorded singles against SHU pitcher Kristin McCann (8-6).
The Blue Devils' standout rookie Sydney Bolan tabbed a perfectly placed RBI-single to right field to score senior Brittany Camara in the bottom of the second. Constantin would then collect her second hit of the day on a two-run homerun in the bottom of the third inning to give CCSU a 7-0 lead over Sacred Heart.
The Pioneers would not go quietly, building a four-run top of the fourth inning after hitting four singles. Central answered the call by adding two more runs off a senior Gianna Hathaway single through the right side of the diamond in the bottom half of the fourth to extend the lead to 9-4.
SHU would threaten again in the top of the fifth inning, scoring a pair of runs to make the score 9-6, which would prove to be as close as they would get.
Sargent retired the sixth inning side in order and sealed the victory in the seventh inning despite two Pioneer runners on base.
Constantin went 2-for-3 with three RBI and Bolan finished 2-for-2 for the game.
In a much slower paced offense game, Sacred Heart's one run in the top of the fifth inning would be all that was needed to seal the victory for the visitors.
CCSU's junior pitcher Alex Casañas (1-2) started the first five innings and gave up three runs. Sargent relieved the California native and gave up two hits in the final two innings.
SHU's Emily Orosco pitched a complete game and struck out 11 Blue Devils while giving up five hits.
Following a lead-off walk, Sacred Heart pinch ran Addison Landry in the top of the fifth inning. Landry was advanced over to third base and crossed home for the game's lone run off Lindsey Spitz fielder's choice to the left side of the infield.
CCSU left one runner on base in the fifth and sixth innings. Debrosse went 2-for-3 to lead the Blue Devils.