The Central Connecticut softball team dropped a narrow 3-2 decision to the #25 South Florida Bulls on Tuesday evening in Tampa, FL. Sophomore Hannah Cooper posted her first home run of the season in the top of the seventh to tie the score 2-2. With the loss, the Blue Devils fall to 9-6 overall.
Junior Laura Messina pitched her eighth complete game of the season, tallying four strikeouts while allowing eight hits, three runs and walking just one. With the loss, Messina's record falls to 8-4.
The Bulls (26-8) notched the first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out solo homer from Lee Ann Spivey.
Central threatened to tie it up in the top of the fifth. Freshman Alexis Debrosse led off with a sliding triple and was followed with a walk by freshman Sarah Drazin, putting two on the corners with two outs. The pair was left stranded on base however, when senior Arielle Bruno grounded out to USF pitcher Sara Nevins.
In the top of the sixth, junior Kat Malcolm led off with a stand-up double, forcing a USF pitcher change. Malcolm advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt off the bat of sophomore Evie Rentzel. With two outs, sophomore Eileen Purcell drilled a single to left center to plate Malcolm and even the score 1-1.
USF matched Malcolm's run with another solo homer with one out in the bottom of the sixth, reclaiming the lead 2-1.
Central responded in the top of the seventh. Sophomore Hannah Cooper blasted a solo homer, her first of the season, to lead off the inning and make it 2-2 with no outs.
The Bulls scored on a single in the bottom of the seventh to claim the win.
The Blue Devils posted four hits on the day, drew three walks and left six runners on base. The Bulls tallied eight hits and left four on base.
Malcolm, Purcell, Debrosse and Cooper led the CCSU offense with one hit apiece. Purcell and Cooper also each posted one RBI.
Central is scheduled to return to action this Friday, March 21, at the Delaware State Tournament in Dover, DE.