The Central Connecticut softball team cliched a spot in the 2018 Northeast Conference Tournament for the first time since they won the title in 2015 on Saturday at Bryant University. CCSU split a doubleheader with the Bulldogs winning 5-1 in game one and lost 9-1 in five innings in game two.
The Blue Devils end the 2018 regular season with a record of 19-28 and 10-6 in the NEC and will wait to learn their seeding for the NEC Tournament at Saint Francis U. on May 10-12 following the remaining softball make-up games on Sunday afternoon.
Senior Brittany Camara ignited a two-run first inning for CCSU with a lead-off liner to left-center field and recorded her 17th stolen base of the season, advancing to second base on the following at-bat. Freshman Sydney Bolan ripped a two-RBI single up the middle to score Camara and senior Lex Debrosse who walked earlier in the series.
In her 16th start in the circle of the season, sophomore Peyton Silverman struck out five Bulldogs in the first three innings, holding the home team off the base path.
CCSU gained two runners on first and second in the top of the fourth inning, but junior Kerri Dadalski's line drive was snuffed by Bryant's shortstop Rachel Monroe to end the momentum.
The Blue Devils found their offense again in the top of the fifth inning. In similar fashion, Camara led off the inning with her second single of the day. CCSU loaded the bases with consecutive walks. Senior Brittany McNulla was hit by a pitch on the following play, sending Camara home. Sophomore Giuliana Hathaway scored two more Blue Devils on a laser to left field, handing CCSU a 5-0 lead.
Bryant's eighth batter in the lineup, Gianna Pizzano hit a solo homerun down the left field line to give the Bulldogs their first run of the game.
Silverman and the CCSU defense retired the Bulldog hitters to seal the victory in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader.
Camara went 3-for-4 and senior Tori Constantin was 2-for-3 to lead the Blue Devil offense. Silverman improved 8-9 on the season and recorded a season-high nine strikeouts.
Camara kicked off game two with a double to right-center field and advanced to third on a costly error from the Bulldogs second baseman. Paterson then launched a deep sacrifice fly to left field that scored the senior with ease.
Bryant took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning and added another run in the third inning on an RBI-single. The Bulldogs set the tone for the rest of the game scoring three runs in the fourth inning and an additional three runs in the bottom of the fifth to lead 9-1 and end the game due to the eight-run rule after five inning rule.
Camara went 2-for-3 to lead CCSU at the plate.
Senior Emily Sargent struck out eight Bulldogs in just 4.2 innings pitched and drops to 8-11 on the year.