The Central Connecticut softball team split a doubleheader with Quinnipiac on Saturday afternoon. The Blue Devils (20-12, 2-4 NEC) dropped game one (3-2) before rebounding for a (4-2) victory in game two. Freshman Laura Messina earned the victory in game two, her 14th of the season, which ties CCSU's single-season record. She also broke CCSU's single-season strikeout record with her final out of the game.
Messina took the loss in game one for the Blue Devils despite holding the Bobcats (18-11, 6-4 NEC) to just a single earned run over seven innings.
The Bobcats plated a single run in the top of the third inning on a base hit by Jacquie Ristow. Messina was able to work out of further trouble in the inning.
The Blue Devils plated a pair of runs on three hits in the bottom of the fourth. Senior Rebecca Mussatti started the inning with a line drive to right field and sophomore Tessa Brown followed with a double to left center. Junior Nicole Springerdrove in Mussatti with a fielder's choice and pinch runner Sara Emery scored on a bunt by freshman Alysaa McCoart.
Quinnipiac added a pair of unearned runs in the fifth inning to take a 3-2 lead.
Messina threw a complete game and allowed three runs, one earned. She struck out two and did not walk a batter.
Mussatti, Brown and Springer sparked a two-out rally in the fifth inning to drive the Blue Devils to a game two victory.
Messina surrendered a solo home run in the first inning, but settled in to get out of the inning without further damage. She would not allow another run until the sixth.
The Blue Devils answered with a single run in the bottom of the frame. Sophomore Arielle Bruno lined a double off the fence in center and Mussatti followed with a line drive single that hit the pitcher. Brown bunted the runners ahead a base and Springer hit a sac fly to score the Blue Devils first run of the game.
Central used a two out rally to score three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Mussatti started the rally with a walk. She came around to score on a double to left center by Brown. Springer quickly followed with a line drive double to center, scoring Brown and freshman Alyssa McCoart who drove in Springer with a line drive single down the right field line.
Quinnipiac added a second run in the sixth inning with a pair of singles, but Messina struck out Mina Duffy and got Nikki Barba to pop up to short to end the threat.
Messina retired the side in order in the seventh, with the final two outs coming via strikeout.
She finished the game having allowed two runs on four hits while striking out five batters.
On the day Messina pitched 14 innings and limited her opponents to three earned runs on 11 hits.
With seven strikeouts, Messina's season total is now 131, breaking the single-season record set by Rachel Brenneman in 2007.
Mussatti, Springer, McCoart, Brown and junior Stephanie Chotkevys all had two hits on the day for the Blue Devils.
"Laura pitched extremely well today and we are going to need her to keep doing that down the stretch," head coach Jeff Franquet said after the game. "Becca, Tessa, Nicole and Alyssa did a great job getting us the runs we needed to win the game in the fifth inning.
The Blue Devils return to action on Tuesday with a non-conference doubleheader at Hofstra.