The Central Connecticut softball team dropped a 7-2 decision to Sacred Heart in the first round of the 2018 Northeast Conference Tournament at SFU Softball Field in Loretto, PA. The Pioneers jumped out to a 6-0 lead in a strong second inning that proved to too large of a margin for a Blue Devil comeback.
The Hathaway sisters, senior Gianna and sophomore Giuliana led Central with two solo home runs off of Sacred Heart's pitcher Emily Orosco who had given up just two homers in NEC play during the regular season.
After a delayed start due to inclement weather, the Blue Devils and Sacred Heart went scoreless in the first inning. Sophomore Peyton Silverman struggled early on with ball control and allowed to free passes to SHU's No. 7 and No. 8 hitters in the top of the second inning.
The Pioneers capitalized on a three-run homer to left-center field from Hailey Desrosiers. The SHU offense continued to roll in the second inning, gaining three more runs on a deep fly ball to the center field warning track and a tough blooper that was misplayed in the infield.
Senior Gianna Hathaway dropped in the first hit for the New Britain crew in the bottom of the second inning, but SHU's ace Emily Orosco recorded her third strikeout of the contest to end the inning.
Stepping into the circle in the top of the third inning, senior Emily Sargent made her presence known and recorded a 1-2-3 performance, striking out Desrosiers to cap of the half inning.
The Blue Devils record their second consecutive 1-2-3 inning in the fourth.
Hathaway pulled a solo home run over the left field fence to give CCSU its first run to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. Sophomore Emily Cronin bought herself a pass to first bases on a great at-bat that made Orosco throw 10 pitches. Senior Brittany Camara placed in a single that lofted over the third baseman's reach.
However, with two on and two outs, junior Kaitlin Paterson was unable to advance the fifth inning, flying out to center field.
Sacred Heart recorded its seventh run of the contest in the top of the seventh inning on a RBI-single.
Sophomore Giuliana Hathaway launched a one-out solo jack over to center field to cut the Blue Devil deficit to 7-2. SHU's opted to pull Orosco with two outs and bring in Kristen McCann to face CCSU's top hitter, Brittany Camara. Camara grounded out to short stop to conclude the first-round contest.
Silverman was credited with the loss and moves top 8-10 on the year.
The Blue Devils will play tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. against No. 4 seeded LIU Brooklyn in an elimination game. The Blackbirds fell to No. 1 Saint Francis U. earlier on Thursday, 8-5.