The Central Connecticut softball team posted two shutouts for the second time this season against Holy Cross on Wednesday in a doubleheader in Worcester, MA. The Blue Devils took game one by a score of 6-0 and game two 2-0. Senior Nicole Springer went 2-for-2 at the plate in game one, scoring one run and driving in two RBI and, in game two, she earned her second shutout of the season. The Blue Devils' record improves to 23-12 (11-3 NEC) with the win.
The Crusaders fall to 13-21 overall.
"We performed well today as a team," Head Coach Jeff Franquet said. "Both Laura and Nicole worked well in the circle for us and we also had some solid hitting. We are looking forward to resuming NEC play this weekend."
Sophomore Laura Messina pitched the first game for Central and registered her eighth shutout of the season, topping her freshman total of seven, with the win. She struck out 11 batters, walked none and gave up only six hits. Her record improves to 17-8 on the season.
Springer registerd three strikeouts, only one walk and gave up four hits in game two. She also went 1-for-3 at the plate with one RBI. Her record stands at 5-2 on the season.
Also leading the Blue Devils in game one was junior Arielle Bruno who went 2-for-4 at the plate and scored two runs. She was the only Blue Devil to cross the plate more than once.
CCSU got off to an early lead, scoring three runs in the top of the first. Bruno led off the inning with a single just before sophomore Kat Malcolm reached first on a Crusader error. Springer sent a double to left field to plate Bruno and was followed by a ground-out from Barlow to bring in Malcolm and give the Blue Devils a 2-0 edge. Springer scored when freshman Evie Rentzel blasted a double, the sixth of her career, to end the scoring for the inning.
In the top of the second, Central struck again when Malcolm reached first on a bunt and advanced Bruno, who reached on error, to second. With the play, Malcolm also sent freshman Brittany Ernst, who had walked, to third. With the bases loaded, Springer stepped up with an RBI single to plate Ernst and Rentzel flied out to center field to drive in Bruno.
Central added the final run in the top of the third when Ernst hit into a double play that allowed senior Sarah Emery across the plate.
Despite what the score differential implies, the match-up was close as CCSU had just one more hit than the Crusaders (7-6). Also, the Blue Devils left six on base compared to eight for Holy Cross.
Junior Tessa Brown went 2-for-2 at the plate in game two and was the only Blue Devil to register more than one hit in the game.
The Blue Devils first got on the board in the top of the third when walked batter Ernst came in from second on a Springer double, her second of the day, to take a 1-0 lead.
The two teams went scoreless through the remaining innings until the top of the seventh when CCSU added an insurance run to increase the lead to 2-0. Freshman Evie Rentzel led off the inning with a bunt to reach first and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Brown posted a sacrifice bunt to move Rentzel into scoring position and a fly out by senior Stephanie Chotkevys sent her across the plate.
Both teams earned four hits and only one walk and struck out three batters in the match-up. Central left only three runners on base compared to six for the Crusaders.
The Blue Devils return to action at home on Sunday, April 21, for a doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m. Central will face conference foe Fairleigh Dickinson (17-16, 6-6 NEC).