The Central Connecticut softball team fell to the LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds in an NEC doubleheader at home on Saturday afternoon. The Blue Devils (13-11, 2-2 NEC) fell in game one 4-0 before pushing game two to extra innings, ultimately falling 4-3 in eight.
Junior Laura Messina took to the circle against the Blackbirds (13-22, 2-0 NEC). She posted a total of nine strikeouts in 15 innings while allowing 15 hits, six earned runs and just three walks. Messina's record drops to 11-8 on the season.
The Blackbirds took an early 1-0 lead with an RBI double from Jazmin Rodriguez in the top of the first. Central held LIU to just one until the top of the sixth when Rodriguez smacked a solo homer to lift the LIU lead to two.
The Blue Devils attempted to respond in the bottom of the sixth, leading off the inning with a single rip up the middle from sophomore Evie Rentzel, but the following three batters went down one-two-three to head into the top of the seventh.
The Blackbirds added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh to give LIU the 4-0 advantage.
The game marks just the second time this season that Central has been shut out by an opponent.
The Blackbirds posted seven hits and left six on base, compared to seven left on base by CCSU.
The Blackbirds got on the board early again in game two on a Rodriguez RBI single to left.
Central overcame the 1-0 deficit however, and took the lead in the bottom of the third when Malcolm blasted her second home run of the season to drive in freshman Sami Duffy, who reached on a walk.
LIU responded in the top of the fifth with two more runs to put the Blue Devils behind, 3-2.
CCSU tied it up in the bottom of the fifth. The Blue Devils kicked off the half inning at the top of the order with two straight singles from Bruno and Malcolm. Rentzel followed with a fielder's choice to load the bases before Debrosse hit one to third, rendering both Malcolm and Bruno out at third on a double play.
With two on and two outs, NEC Player of the Week Tessa Brown sent a single to left to drive in Rentzel and even the score at three.
The score remained deadlocked through the sixth and seventh before LIU posted a lone run in the top of the eighth for the win.
Both squads tallied eight hits while CCSU left nine on base and LIU left seven. Central committed just one error in game two, compared to two in game one and none all day for the Blackbirds.
Malcolm led the Central offense in game two, going 2-for-3 at the plate, including one home run, while driving in two RBI and scoring once. Rentzel also posted two hits on the day and one run. Bruno, Brown, sophomore Eileen Purcell and freshman Sarah Drazin each added one hit for the Blue Devils.
Central Connecticut will return home tomorrow, Sunday, April 6, to face Wagner in another NEC doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.