Central Connecticut softball's Arielle Bruno, Laura Messina and Evie Rentzel earned NEC Player of the Week, NEC Pitcher of the Week and NEC Co-Rookie of the Week, the league announced Monday. The trio earned the Northeast Conference weekly awards after the Blue Devils' perfect 4-0 record in this weekend's opening of conference competition.
Bruno exploded at the plate this week to kick off NEC competition. She went 6-for-13 scoring six runs and belting a home run in three consecutive games including a three-run homer against LIU Brooklyn. She drove in four of Central's nine runs in the first match-up against the Blackbirds and posted seven RBI on the weekend. She wrapped up the week batting .462 and, after this week's performance, she is tied for fifth in CCSU history in home runs with 14.
"Arielle swung the bat very well this weekend," Head Coach Jeff Franquet said. "She is a great hitter and this week she was really able to show what she can do. I have no doubt that she will keep up the good work throughout the season."
Messina pitched the full 24 innings for the Blue Devils in the conference sweep this weekend. The sophomore totaled two shutouts bringing her career shutout total to 10, which ties the CCSU career record. She allowed only two runs on the weekend, struck out 27 batters and boasted a .58 ERA over the four NEC contests.
"Laura took the mound and got it done for us this weekend," Franquet said. "She pitched a solid four games, allowing only two runs to score. She performed very well and I am proud of her. We look forward to seeing what she can do this season."
Rentzel continued her impressive freshman campaign this week and earns her second NEC weekly honor. In the first match-up of the four-game stretch, Rentzel went two-for-three at the plate against Wagner. She belted two, three-run homers to lead the Blue Devils with six RBI out of 13 total runs. She completed the weekend scoring three runs, driving in seven RBI and batting .273. She also posted a perfect fielding percentage.
"Evie has proven to be a really great addition to our team this season," Franquet said. "She is transitioning very well to the collegiate level and getting better every day. She is our starting left fielder as a freshman and she has the potential to be a phenomenal collegiate player."
Sharing rookie of the week honors with Rentzel was Madelaine Wilen of Fairleigh Dickinson.
The Blue Devils return to action at home on Wednesday, March 27 against the Holy Cross Crusaders. The doubleheader is set to begin at 3 p.m.