The Central Connecticut softball team closed its regular season with an 8-0 victory over Quinnipiac at home on Thursday. The Blue Devils shut out the Bobcats (10-33) in five innings, improving their season record to 28-14. Junior Laura Messina tallied her 13th shutout of the season in the final tune up before Central travels to Smithfield, RI for the 2014 NEC Tournament.
Messina pitched all five innings for CCSU. She fanned seven batters and allowed just three hits on the day. The junior, who was ranked tied for first in the nation in shutouts with 12 on Monday, improves her season record to 23-11.
The Blue Devils got out to an early lead in the bottom of the first when senior Arielle Bruno led off with a homer to center field. It was her fourth of the season, 24th of her career. Bruno is still ranked second in the CCSU career record books, she is just four home runs behind Kelsey Barlow's record of 28.
Central continued the rally in the first when a double off the bat of sophomore Eileen Purcell drove in classmate Evie Rentzel who had walked. Purcell scored off a Bobcat error to increase CCSU's lead to three.
Rentzel kicked off the bottom of the third with a double down the left field line to spark another three-run rally for CCSU. Freshman Alexis Debrosse ripped a single through the left side to plate Rentzel and make it 4-0.
Purcell stepped up with another solid hit, this time a single through the right side to score senior Tessa Brown who had reached on a walk. A ground out from junior Kat Malcolm scored Debrosse to give CCSU a big 6-0 advantage.
Central added their seventh run in the bottom of the fourth with a Rentzel sacrifice fly that brought in junior Ashley Black, who had reached on a hard double up the middle.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Blue Devils tallied their eighth and final run on an RBI triple from Malcolm.
Purcell led Central at the plate going 3-for-3 with two RBI and one run. Malcolm also drove in two RBI and blasted a triple while Bruno went 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run. Rentzel and Debrosse each registered one hit.
The Blue Devils tallied nine hits in 21 at bats compared to three in 18 for the Bobcats. Sydney Robey started the game for Quinnipiac and takes the loss, dropping her season record to 2-16.
Central will be back in action next weekend, May 8-10, at the 2014 NEC Tournament in Smithfield, RI as they look to defend their championship title. Stay tuned to CCSUBlueDevils.com for all of the latest information on the Blue Devils in the NEC Tournament.