The Central Connecticut softball team swept a doubleheader at home vs. Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday, winning game one 9-1 and game two 4-0. With the two wins Central is now 25-12 overall and 13-3 in Northeast Conference play. FDU drops to 18-19 overall and 7-9 in the league.
Sophomore Laura Messina won both ends of the doubleheader, moving to 19-8 on the season. She struck out 10 FDU batters in game one and then in game two posted her ninth shutout of the season allowing just three hits.
"With our wins today, we hit that magic number of 13 wins that should hopefully get us to the conference tournament," Head Coach Jeff Franquet said. "Now we can focus on closing out the rest of our NEC games strong and maybe even clinch the number one spot in the NEC."
In game one the Blue Devils struck first with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. The first scored on a fielding error by the Knights, and the second on an RBI fielder's choice from junior Tessa Brown.
A five-run third inning helped Central take a 7-0 lead. They scored five times on just two hits, but took advantage of two FDU errors. Brown drove in her second run of the game with a single to left field. With runners on second and third freshman Evie Rentzel's fielder's choice drove in the second run of the inning. Two more runs scored on a throwing error from the Knights, making it 6-0. The fifth run of the inning scored on an RBI groundout from senior Stephanie Chotkevys.
The Knights registered their first hit and cut the lead to 7-1 in the fourth inning.
Chotkevys hit her third home run of the season in the sixth inning to push the lead to 8-1. Senior Nicole Springer singled home sophomore Kat Malcolm with the ninth run, giving Central the 9-1 win.
In game two, the Blue Devils took a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning. Springer led off the inning with her seventh home run of the year, and an RBI double from senior Kelsey Barlow scored the second run. It was 3-0 after an RBI triple from Rentzel, her fourth of the season. Rentzel now ranks first in the NEC in triples.
Brown's RBI double in the fifth inning, her sixth of the season, pushed the lead to 4-0.
The Blue Devils held the Knights in the top of the seventh to close the game and earn the shutout.
Central returns to action this Thursday, April 25th at home. The Blue Devils will host Rhode Island in a doubleheader that is set to begin at 3 p.m. followed by the final home match-up of the season on Saturday against the #1 NEC ranked Robert Morris.