Softball Sweeps Day Two at Hampton
The Central Connecticut softball team swept day two of the Hampton Tournament with a 9-3 victory over the Siena Saints and an 11-2 win over Maryland Eastern Shore on Saturday in Hampton, VA. Sophomore Kat Malcolm scored a team-high three runs against Siena and belted a three-run homer in the win against UMES. The double header improves the Blue Devils' season record to 7-4.
"Overall, our team played well today," Head Coach Jeff Franquet said. "We split our games yesterday and it was great to come out and get both wins today. On the mound, Laura and Nicole performed well and Kat was espeically explosive at the plate with seven hits and a home run."
Game 1 vs. Siena
Sophomore Laura Messina earns the win against Siena for the Blue Devils. She held the Saints scoreless through the first three innings and posted four strikeouts, two earned runs and six hits. Her reason record improves to 4-2.
It was Siena (0-6) who struck first in the top of the fourth. The Saints loaded the bases and brought two runs across the plate to put the Blue Devils down 2-0.
Central kicked off the bottom of the fourth inning with a single by Malcolm. Senior Nicole Springer reached base following Malcolm's hit and freshman Brittany Ernst entered the game as a pinch runner. Senior Kelsey Barlow singled up the middle to drive Malcolm home and advance Ernst to third, bringing the score to 2-1, Saints.
Junior Tessa Brown earned an RBI of her own on a shot to third base, plating Ernst to tie the game 2-2. With the bases loaded and two outs, Central attempted to take the lead by pinch hitting freshman Hannah Cooper, who boasts one homerun and seven RBI in nine games this season. Cooper grounded out to first base however, and the inning ended with three stranded on base and the score tied 2-2.
In the top of the fifth, the Saints responded with a double to right center field to bring a walked batter across home plate and regain the lead 3-2.
Central opened the bottom of the fifth with one out and a single by Malcolm. Springer was hit by a pitch to put two Blue Devils on base. Barlow reached base on a Saint error to bring Malcolm across the plate and tie the game 3-3. Springer scored on a single from Brown to give Central its first lead of the game 4-3.
Following a pitcher change by Siena, freshman Evie Rentzel smacked a single to second base, plating Barlow for her sixth RBI of the season. Freshman pinch runner Gianna Sandstrom advanced to third on the hit. Rentzel advanced to second on a passed ball and Sandstrom crossed the plate, extending the lead to 6-3.
A sacrifice bunt from freshman Eileen Purcell allowed Rentzel to score, totaling five runs in the inning. The Blue Devils headed into the sixth inning up 7-3.
Central loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth and a Saint error brought sophomore pinch runner Alyssa McCoart and Malcolm across the plate. The run was Malcolm's third of the game in four at bats and the Blue Devils increased their lead over Siena to 9-3.
The Saints were able to score once more in the top of the seventh inning to make the final score 9-4, Central.
Game 2 vs. Maryland Eastern Shore
Springer started the game in the pitcher's circle against the Hawks (4-9). She pitched a solid five innings before the game was called after the bottom of the fifth on a mercy rule. Springer totaled three strikeouts and allowed only two runs and one hit. Her season record improves to 2-0 with the win.
The Blue Devils kicked off scoring in the bottom of the first inning. Malcolm hit her fourth single of the day and stole second, her third steal of the day. An error by UMES allowed Malcolm to cross home plate and put Central on the board 1-0.
In the bottom of the second, Rentzel opened up the inning with a triple, her second of the season. She scored in the next at bat on a Barlow single to put the Blue Devils up 2-0. Central plated two more runs when Malcolm smacked a single down the right field line and advanced to second on the throw. The play sent both Bruno and Barlow across home plate, advancing the score to 4-0.
Central went on a two-out rally in the bottom of the fourth plating four runs to expand the Blue Devil lead to 8-0. Malcolm blasted a homer to bring in walked batters Bruno and senior Stephanie Chotkevys for three RBI to put Central up 7-0. With the bases cleared, Emery entered the game to run the bases after Springer hit a single to right field. Emery eventually scored on a single to left field from Brown. The teams went into the top of the fifth 8-0, Central.
Two Hawk runners reached the bases in the top of the fifth on Blue Devil errors and eventually crossed home plate narrowing Central's lead to 8-2.
Malcolm earned another RBI on a single that drove in Chotkevys in the bottom of the fifth. Springer approached the plate and launched a double to right field to drive Malcolm and Bruno home, to set the final score to 11-2.
The Blue Devils return to action Wednesday, March 13 for a double header against the Hartford Hawks in Hartford, CT. The first game is set to begin at 2:30 p.m.