by Daniel Fappiano
With Northeast Conference play underway, the Central Connecticut softball team took on rivals Wagner and LIU Brooklyn, looking to climb up the standings. Central was able to achieve their mission, winning three of their four games. The team now sits at third in the NEC at 5-3, with 14 games remaining in the season.
The Blue Devils began their week with a doubleheader against the Seahawks of Wagner. Both teams picked up a victory as the NEC foes split.
In game one, the Seahawks used a two-run third inning that saw both Jessica Carlucci and Kailia Smith hit runs batted in singles to come away with the 2-0 victory.
Wagner’s Morgan Brown pitched a gem, holding Central to just four hits while striking out 10 in a complete game shutout. CCSU’s Peyton Silverman also pitched well, allowing six hits and two runs, while striking out seven in a complete game. The Blue Devils not only struggled with the bats, but also on defense, making three errors.
In game two, both teams played to a 1-1 tie going into the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, freshman Sydney Bolan stepped to the plate for her first at-bat of the game and hit a home run over the right-field wall, giving the Blue Devils a 2-1 victory.
Again, it was the pitchers who shined as Wagner’s Arielle Koerber threw six and a third innings, allowing just three hits and two runs while striking out seven. Central’s Emily Sargent matched her performance, pitching a full game and allowing just one run and seven hits while striking out five.
Following the game, head coach Breanne Gleason was relieved that her team was able to pick up an important conference win.
“We couldn’t get swept today, we were coming out obviously looking to take two, but getting one win and avoiding the sweep is a plus,” Gleason said.
Despite Bolan’s heroics, the Blue Devils’ bats were silent for much of their series against Wagner. They had just three hits in game one and just two bunt singles prior to the walk-off in game two.
Gleason said that she was hoping the walk-off win would bring some life back into her team’s offense.
Against the Blackhawks of LIU Brooklyn, Central was able to find themselves on offense, winning both games by a combined 23-5. Both games did not go the regular seven innings with game one lasting just five innings and game two lasting six.
The first match-up against both teams saw five different Blue Devils earn RBIs with Brittany Camara, Gianna Hathaway and Tori Constantin knocking in two. Overall, Central scored nine runs, tying their third highest of the season. Silverman had another strong game on the mound, pitching all five innings, allowing just three hits and no runs while striking out three.
Game two saw Central score their most runs of the season at 14 while holding LIU to just five for the victory. Three different players hit home runs while six had RBIs. Camara stole the show on offense by not only hitting a home run, but knocking in six RBIs. Every starter in the line-up had at least one hit in what was Central’s biggest offensive showing of the year.
The Blue Devils will now embark on a three-week road trip that will see them play Boston, Bryant, UConn, St. Francis (PA), Robert Morris and Fairfield. They’ll look to continue their win streak and earn a spot in the NEC tournament.