Junior Laura Messina of the Central Connecticut softball team was named NEC Pitcher of the Week for the fifth time this season, the league announced Monday. The weekly NCAA rankings were also released Monday, revealing Messina in a two-way tie for first in the nation with 12 shutouts.
The three-year Blue Devil led CCSU to an undefeated stint this week, stretching the Blue Devil win streak to five to lead Central to its second-consecutive NEC Tournament berth.
Messina posted two shutouts this week and allowed just four hits in 21.0 innings, including two one-hitters to lead CCSU to the tournament in Smithfield, RI. She struck out 23 batters and allowed just two runs for a 0.67 ERA.
Headed into this week's competition, Messina was ranked tied for second in the nation in shutouts with 10, just one behind the country's leader. She now totals 12 shutouts, tied for first in the nation, and 233 strikeouts on the season.
Messina and the rest of the Blue Devils are scheduled to travel to Hofstra tomorrow, Tuesday April 29, for a doubleheader before returning home for their final home contest of the season on Thursday, May 1 against Quinnipiac.
Central will then travel to Smithfield, RI to compete in the 2014 NEC Tournament hosted by Bryant University on May 8-10.