The Central Connecticut softball team opened the weekend at the Hampton Tournament in Hampton, VA with two wins against Iona and St. Bonaventure on Saturday. The Blue Devils (4-3) tallied their third shutout of the season against the Iona Gaels 8-0, followed by another win over the St. Bonaventure Bonnies 9-2.
Sophomore Evie Rentzel led the offense in game one going 3-for-3 at the plate, scoring two runs and driving in one RBI. In game two, freshman Alexis Debrosse led CCSU with three hits, 5 RBI and two runs.
Junior Laura Messina (4-1) started both games in the circle for CCSU. In game one, Messina earned her third shutout of the season striking out five batters in four innings while allowing just one hit. In the win against St. Bonaventure, Messina racked up seven strikeouts in just three innings, bringing her season total to 31 in five games and 491 for her career.
GAME #1 vs. Iona
Central plated its first run in the bottom of the first against the Gaels (0-5) when a Rentzel double drove in senior Arielle Bruno, who had walked as CCSU's lead-off batter.
Bruno blasted a double to left center in the bottom of the second to plate reigning NEC Rookie of the Week Alexis Debrosse and increase the Blue Devil lead to two.
In the bottom of the third, Rentzel kicked off the half inning with a single up the middle. She advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior Tessa Brown, advanced to third on a passed ball and proceeded to steal home for CCSU's third run. Debrosse singled to bring in sophomore Eileen Purcell, who walked to first.
Entering the bottom of the fourth with a 4-0 lead, Central doubled its run tally to seal the 8-0 win. Bruno, Rentzel, Brown and junior Kat Malcolm each scored in the bottom of the fourth.
Senior Emily Pogemiller made her first appearance of the season, relieving Messina in the top of the fifth. She struck out one, allowing no hits and preserving the shutout.
CCSU posted nine hits and seven RBI while leaving eight stranded on base. Iona posted just one hit in 16 at bats while leaving just one on base.
Rentzel led the Blue Devil offense and was followed by Brown who went 2-for-2 at the plate with one run. Bruno, Malcolm, Debrosse and sophomore Hannah Cooper each added one hit and combined for four runs. Seven different Blue Devils tallied Central's RBI including Bruno, Rentzel, Brown, Purcell, Debrosse as well as sophomore Kenya McVey and freshman Sarah Drazin.
GAME #2 vs. St. Bonaventure
The Bonnies (2-14) got the scoring started early in the bottom of the first, posting one run on two singles and a stolen base, the only two hits Messina would allow in three innings.
Central answered in the top of the second with two runs to claim the lead 2-1. With two outs and runners on second and third, McVey took advantage of a wild pitch to score for the tying run. Debrosse advanced to third and was driven in on a single to right field by Bruno for the go-ahead run.
The Blue Devils broke the game open in the top of the third. Brown singled to left and was replaced on base by freshman Sami Duffy. McVey stepped up to the plate for her second double of the season to plate Duffy and increase the lead to 3-1. Following the scoring play, Debrosse blasted her second career home run, driving in Purcell, who reached on a single of her own, and McVey.
Entering the top of the fourth up 6-1, Central continued to rally, sending three more across the plate including Malcolm, Purcell and Duffy. The last two were driven in by Debrosse, totaling five RBI for the game.
In the bottom of the fourth, senior Julie Marks relieved Messina in the circle. She gave up one run in the bottom of the fourth but allowed no more throughout the seventh, resulting in the 9-2 win.
Marks struck out five batters in four innings while allowing two hits and just one run.
CCSU totaled 10 hits in 33 at bats compared to four hits from the Bonnies.
Debrosse led the Central offense with three hits, 5 RBI and two runs. She was followed by McVey, who went 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI, and Cooper who tallied two hits. Bruno, Brown and Purcell each posted one hit.
The Blue Devils return to the field tomorrow against St. Bonaventure at 9 a.m. in Hampton, VA. Click for LIVE STATS.