The Central Connecticut softball team started the season a perfect 2-0 in NEC play after sweeping the Sacred Heart Pioneers (9-10, 0-2 NEC) on Saturday in a doubleheader at home in New Britain, CT. The Blue Devils (11-9, 2-0 NEC) shut out SHU in game one 5-0 before earning a narrow victory in game two 4-3.
Junior Laura Messina pitched both games for CCSU, registering her fifth shutout of the season and racking up eight strikeouts in game one. She retired three more batters in game two and gave up just six hits on the day. With the wins, her record improves to 11-6.
Central added four more over the course of the second and third innings on five hits, including a two-run homer by freshman Alexis Debrosse. Debrosse tallied her fourth home run of the season, driving in Brown who had singled.
The Blue Devils posted seven hits in seven innings of errorless field play. Debrosse and Brown each went 2-for-3 at the plate. Debrosse also scored twice and drove in two RBI.
It was Sacred Heart who would score first in game two, registering their first run of the day in the top of the third on a solo homer from Annie Draher.
Down by one, CCSU answered in the bottom of the fourth, rallying for four runs on three hits. Central notched one of its runs on an Eileen Purcell single before plating two more on a two-out single from sophomore Hannah Cooper. Cooper ripped the ball through the right side to plate Debrosse, who walked, and Purcell, giving Central a 4-1 advantage.
The Pioneers added two more in the top of the fifth to cut the deficit to one, but were unable complete the comeback.
Three SHU pitchers combined for five strikeouts and four hits while Messina struck out three and allowed four hits.
Offensively, Purcell registered one hit, one RBI and one run while Cooper hit one and drove in two.
CCSU will remain home for its next three contests as the Blue Devils' doubleheader at Fairleigh Dickinson scheduled for Sunday, March 30, has been postponed due to wet field conditions.
Central will take on Holy Cross in a single game at the CCSU Softball Field in New Britain, CT on Wednesday, April 2, at 4 p.m.