The Central Connecticut softball team topped NEC foe Wagner by a score of 2-1 in game one followed by a 4-0 shutout in game two on Sunday afternoon. The sweep marks the second for CCSU in NEC play this season. With the win, the Blue Devils' record improves to 15-11 overall and 4-2 in the NEC.
Junior Laura Messina pitched all seven innings against the Seahawks (13-17, 0-4 NEC). She tallied 20 strikeouts on the day while allowing just nine hits and one run. She racked up 12 strikeouts in game one and added eight more in game two to claim her sixth shutout of the season and improve her record to 13-8.
The Blue Devils got out in front early in the bottom of the first with a 1-0 lead that would last through the fifth inning. With two outs and a runner on third, freshman Alexis Debrosse shot a single through the right side, plating senior Arielle Bruno.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Blue Devils added an insurance run on a double to left center off the bat of sophomore Evie Rentzel. Rentzel nearly made it a triple as junior Kat Malcolm crossed home plate, making it 2-0 CCSU.
In the top of the seventh, the Seahawks avoided the shutout with a lead-off solo homer from Abby Beasley. A line out and two strikeouts from Messina wrapped up the top of the seventh however, to prevent a Wagner comeback.
The Blue Devils tallied five hits in 21 at bats compared to three hits in 25 at bats for the Seahawks. Wagner finished game one with errorless fielding, while Central posted one error.
Bruno led CCSU on offense in game one, going 2-for-2 at the plate and scoring one run. Rentzel, Debrosse and freshman Sarah Drazin each added one hit to Central's total.
The Blue Devils sent seven batters to the plate in the bottom of the first to open game two with a two-run lead. For the second-straight game, a Debrosse single drove home Bruno for the first run. The play was followed by a single to left center from sophomore Eileen Purcell. Purcell plated Rentzel, who had walked, for the 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, CCSU increased the lead to three on single up the middle from senior Tessa Brown. Brown's hit drove in Bruno, notching her second run of the game.
Central added one more in the bottom of the sixth before rendering the Seahawks scoreless in the top of the seventh, registering Messina's sixth shutout of the season.
The Blue Devils went 7-for-25 at the plate, left nine runners stranded on base and committed two errors. Wagner posted six hits in 26 at bats, leaving seven on base and posting just one error.
Bruno scored twice and tallied one hit and Malcolm posted two hits in four at bats to lead Central on offense. Four Blue Devils combined for the rest of CCSU's hits including Debrosse, Brown, Purcell and freshman Sami Duffy.
The Blue Devils are schedule to return to action on Wednesday, April 9, at Holy Cross before returning home for a doubleheader against UMass-Lowell on Thursday, April 10, starting at 2:30 p.m.