After facing a 5-2 deficit in the top of the third inning, the Central Connecticut softball team built a 6-0 run to comeback and top Siena in its 2018 season-opener at the FIU Felsberg Invitational on Friday morning. Freshman pitcher Ashley Antonazzo earned her first win in the circle as Blue Devils after going four innings without giving up a run and surrendering just one Siena hit to close out the game.
CCSU (1-0) out-hit its MAAC opponent 13-6 as Siena fell to 0-1 in its first action of the 2018 campaign.
The Saints tallied two runs and three hits in the top of the first inning off of Central's starting senior pitcher Emily Sargent. Senior Brittany Camara smacked a lead-off single to center field to post the first Blue Devil hit of the 2018 season. CCSU would leave two left of base to conclude the first inning.
After being hit by a pitch, Siena's Amanda Dodson scored on a Jess Vollmer triple to kick off the second inning. Jazmin Ortiz then laid down a well-placed bunt to score Vollmer from third to give the Saints a 4-0 edge over CCSU.
Sargent struck out the final two batters in the top of second inning to give the Blue Devils some momentum heading to the plate. With quick outs, Siena's pitcher Lauren Butts walked Kaitlin Paterson and sophomore Emily Cronin singled up the middle and hustled into second base on the throw to the plate as Paterson scored the first run of the season.
Camara then smacked her second single of the day back to center field, bringing home Cronin and making the score 4-2 at the end of the second inning.
Dodson then notched an RBI-single in the top of the third with two outs for Siena.
The Blue Devils put together a short two-out rally in the bottom half of the third created by a senior Gianna Hathaway double to left field, and a junior Kerri Dadalski single to third. Freshman Sydney Bolan would then smack her first collegiate RBI-single through the left side of the infield to score Hathaway from third.
Antonazzo came to the mound for CCSU in the top of the fourth inning trailing 5-3 and facing Siena's 2-3-4 batters. The freshman retired the side in order earning three straight groundouts.
The Saint's opted for a pitching change in the bottom of the fourth, facing a first and third situation with just one out. Brooke Hughes threw to senior Brittany McNulla scored senior Lex Debrosse from third on a grounder to the short stop who overthrew first, allowing Cronin to cross home plate again tying the game at 5-5.
The Blue Devils would take its first lead of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning on a RBI-double to right field off the bat of senior Tori Constantin to score Paterson. Freshman Samantha Pizzonia then zipped a shot to first base that was mishandled allowing Constantin to score and extend the Central lead to 7-5 heading into the final two innings.
The Saint's grounded into a third-to-first double play with runners on first and second in the top of the sixth. Bolan posted her second RBI-single of the game giving, CCSU a three-run cushion, 8-5.
Antonazzo sealed the victory sending Siena's middle of the order back to the dugout in order in succession.
The Central Connecticut softball team will face the Felsberg Invitational host, Florida International at 3:45 p.m. later today. The game will be broadcasted live on Conference USA and fans can also follow live stats here.