Category Archives: Softball

Blue Devil Softball Stomp All Over Mount St. Mary’s University

by Kimberly Pena

Led by Karleigh Edward’s three RBI and Sarah Ogilvie’s two RBI afternoon, the Blue Devils stomped over Mount St. Mary’s University with an 11-1 victory. On a partly sunny Friday afternoon, Central Connecticut State University took advantage of Marian Ruf’s poor outing to improve their record to 9-19 for the season.

The damage began in the first inning when Alexis Debrosse led off the inning with a walk, after a pass ball and a strikeout to Brittany Camara, Britanny McNulla followed up with an RBI single. One batter later, Edward hit an RBI double to make the score 2-0. Ogilvie then hit an RBI single to make it 3-0.

Pitcher Alexandra Casañas continued her streak of good pitching, only allowing one run over five-innings, three hits, two walks and a strikeout. Casañas has now won three straight starts, permitting four earned runs over a span of 20 innings, dropping her ERA to 3.59.

“Alex does a great job of hitting her spots and keeping hitters off balance with her off speed pitches, said Edwards. “She is an important part of our pitching staff along with our two other pitchers.”

In the second inning, the Blue Devils increased their lead with Debrosse doing some of the damage with a two-run home, scoring Alicia Bertolino to make the score 5-0. It is Debrosse’s fourth homerun of the year.

But the big blow came in the fourth-inning, when CCSU sent 10 batters to the plate, scoring six runs on an already shaky Ruf. Tori Constantin led off the inning with a double, while Bertolino reached on a defensive misplay by second baseman Morgan Alisauckas. Two outs later, Camra walked to load the bases and McNulla walked to bring in a run.

With the bases still loaded, Kerri Dadalski singled in two more runs and advanced to second on the throw, extending the lead 8-0. The power duo of Edwards and Ogilvie came to bat back-to-back, with Edwards bringing in two more runs and Ogilvie scoring Edwards to end the afternoon for Ruf.

“I think in those situations I am just looking for a good pitch to drive in runners with,” said Edwards.

“Our offense can be extremely powerful and dangerous when everyone works together to string along some hits and puts pressure on the defense,” said Ogilvie.

Ruf’s final line was three and two-third innings, 11 runs, five earned, four walks and three strikeouts, giving her five losses in the season versus two wins.

Casañas kept the Mountaineers hitless in the last two innings, ending the game after five innings.

Moving forward, the team knows there are still changes to be made to continue on the success like Friday afternoon’s victory.

” I think that our team needs to continue to stay focused on both offense and defense and take it one game at a time, not thinking too far in advance,” said Edwards.

But the team knows if they can stick together, they can do just that.

“Our team chemistry is great both on and off the field,” said Ogilvie.  “We all have so much fun during practices and games; we all get along really well and all want to play and win for one another.”

The Blue Devils go on to face Saint Francis University on Sunday, April, 23, in a double-header. First pitch for game one is set for 12 p.m.

Blue Devils Softball Split Double Header After A Tough Start

 

The Blue Devils are now 3-5 in conference play

by Kimberly Pena and Brennah Dallaire 

Game 1

The Central Connecticut State University Softball team faced Bryant University in a double header at Arute field this past Saturday. After a strong performance by pitcher Emily Sargent, the CCSU offense couldn’t come through with the big hit.

Sargent was efficient as she pitched all seven innings and saw 30 batters. Sargent cites some of her performance highs as contributing to “getting out of some tough spots with runners on base in the first and fourth innings.”

“Our defense played well with runners in scoring position, and held them to only three runs on eight hits,” said Sargent.

Sargent could not find the strike zone when she walked in a run in the second inning. After throwing a wild pitch that hit Bryant’s center fielder, Haylee Haas, catcher Robyn Ukegawa scored the first run of the game. Sargent also gave up a home run in the third to Bryant University’s short stop, Marianna Politis.

Politis’s teammates congratulated her at home plate after she hit the only home run of the game over the left field wall.

After a slow start offensively, the Blue Devils picked up momentum in the third inning. Central’s right fielder, Kerri Dadalski doubled to right center field sending catcher, Brittany McNulla to third and center fielder, Brittany Camara in to score. Central’s second baseman, Kaitlin Paterson followed up with a single through the left side, sending McNulla in to score Central’s second and last run of the game.

In the sixth inning, Bryant’s third baseman, Rachel Monroe tripled to right center. With Monroe in scoring position, Gabrielle Ermish hit an RBI single to center field and the Bulldogs took a 3-2 lead over the Blue Devils.

“I think that offensively we put up a good fight, but struggled stringing together the hits that could’ve given us one or two more runs,” said Sargent.

“We showed up to win two games today, played hard and unfortunately fell short by one run in game one,” said Sargent.

Kaitlin Paterson dives for grounder

Game 2 

After dropping their first game of a double-header in a heartbreaking 3-2 loss, the Central Connecticut State University softball team redeemed themselves with a 4-1 win over Bryant University on a windy Saturday afternoon. The win improved the CCSU’s record to 6-16 for the season.

Pitcher Alex Casañas threw a complete game of one-run ball against the Bull Dogs, giving Casañas her first win of the season and dropping her ERA to 4.96 for the season. The only blemish in Casañas outing came from an RBI single by Gabrielle Ermish in the second inning.

“Today I focused more on the small details and just trying to focus on each pitch I threw to the batters and as a team we focused on winning each inning,” said Casañas. “My changeup was working great today, so I threw that way more often than I normally do.”

Unlike the first game, the Blue Devils provided much more offense, scoring four runs in the third inning to back up the strong performance by Casañas. Tori Constantin led off the inning with a single, Emily Cronnin followed up with a walk and a bunt single by Alexis Debrosse loaded up the bases. Brittany Camara came through with a two-run scoring single to give the Blue Devils a 2-1 lead.

“It was great though to see my team hitting like I know they can,” said Casañas. “When your team is able to back you up offensively, it makes the game a lot easier for the pitcher.”

Brittany McNulla then hit a sacrifice fly, increasing the Blue Devils lead to 3-1. The inning was capped off by an RBI single by Kaleigh Edwards, scoring Camara to give the Blue Devils a 4-1 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.

“Some changes that we made between games was that we reset our mindset and realized that we needed to string some hits together and tally up some more runs, which we did,” said Sargent.

Casañas surrendered only one hit after the second inning, breezing right through the Bull Dogs offense.

“The defense did another great job and backed up our sophomore pitcher Alex Casañas for her first win in the circle,” said Sargent.

Alexis Debrosse lines a ball into play

Although the team has been off to a rocky start, the team is hoping with the win a lot more W’s can come their way.

“I hope that we as a team can move forward with a lot more confidence to finish off the season with the wins we need, and the right mindset to win the conference,” said Casañas.

The Blue Devils move on to Mount Saint Mary’s University on Friday, April 14 for a double-header. First pitch for game one is set for 1 p.m.

Blue Devils Softball Get Swept Under Their Feet in Double-Header

by Kimberly Pena & Brennah Dallaire

Game One

Central Connecticut States University’s Women’s Softball team failed to take off in the first of two games against Robert Morris at home on Sunday. The Colonials disproved the home field advantage after overpowering the Blue Devils in a 3-1 win.

The Colonials dominated the plate in the top of the first, scoring two runs. Robert Morris third baseman, Olivia Lorusso, homered to left center, scoring her first run of the game. Robert Morris shortstop Natalie Higgins followed up with a double to right center, sending Abrielle McCartney to score.

Lack of power at the plate made the game uneventful until the Colonials scored again in the top of the third inning. Higgins reached on a fielders choice, allowing Colonials second baseman Stacy Capp to score.

It wasn’t until it was too late, during the bottom of the seventh, that the Blue Devils made a scoring play. CCSU centerfielder Brittany Camara reached first on an error. Blue Devils third baseman Alicia Bertolini followed up with a single down the right field line, allowing Camara to advance to second. On a wild pitch, Bertolini advanced to second and Camara advanced to third. CCSU shortstop Alexis Debrosse singled to shortstop, allowing Camara to score.

CCSU pitcher Emily Sargent faced 28 batters and allowed only seven hits. Sargent allowed three runs, three earned runs and one homerun. She struck out four batters and sent only one batter to base on balls.

Roger Morris pitcher Kaitlin Ellzy faced 29 batters and allowed six hits. Ellzy allowed one run and sent four batters to base on balls. She struck out four batters.

Brittany Camara went two for three against the Colonials in the loss.

Game Two

The Blue Devils softball team fell short of what would have been an uplifting comeback with a 5-4 loss in their second double-header game against Robert Morris University.

On a fielder’s choice, Taylor Bartlow scored the winning run in the final inning to claim victory for the Colonials. The Blue Devils dropped their record to 4-14 and 0-2 on North East Conference play.

RMU got off to a quick start in the first inning to support their starting pitcher, Laura Coulter. With Jordan Gurganus on base following an error by third baseman Sarah Ogilvie, Olivia Lorusso hit her first of two two-run jacks, giving the Colonials a 2-0 lead.

Central Connecticut State University had an opportunity to answer back in the bottom of the first, but with two runners on base and two outs, Ogilvie struck out.

Lorusso struck with Gurganus on base once again in the third inning, extending RMU’s lead 4-0 and giving Lorusso a game-leading four RBIs. CCSU starting pitcher Alex Casanas surrendered four runs, two earned, in four innings of work.

The Blue Devils remained quiet until the fifth inning, when they charged back with two runs of their own. Alexis Debrosse hit an RBI double, scoring Emily Cronin from first and Kerri Dadalski hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Debrosse, cutting the lead 4-2.

CCSU would eventually tie the game in the sixth inning. Kaitlin Patterson led off the inning with a double and would score on a single by Kaleigh Edwards. Edwards found her way to third on an error and a sacrifice bunt by Tori Constantin. Alicia Bertolino came in to pinch hit for Emily Cronin with a runner on third and one out. Coulter surrendered an RBI groundout, allowing the game to tie 4-4.

However, the Colonials answered with a run of their own in the seventh to grab the 5-4 lead off of reliever pitcher Emily Sargent. The Blue Devils bats would go quietly in the bottom of the inning against Kaitlin Ellzy, sealing the victory for the Colonials.

The Blue Devils will face off against Bryant University on a double-header Saturday, April 8. with the first pitch to be thrown at 1 p.m.

CCSU Dominates Diamond In Double Header Against Albany

CCSU softball won two games over the weekend. Photo Credit: CCSU Athletics

by Humera Gul

Central Connecticut State University women’s softball team swept the Great Danes in a double header at home on Saturday. CCSU beat Albany 13-5 in game one and 9-1 in the second game.

CCSU senior and shortstop Alexis Debrosse, went up to bat four times. She had three hits and three runs. This comes as an improvement since the start of the season.

CCSU’s third baseman, Sarah Ogilivie batted three times. Ogilivie had one hit and two runs in total. Oligivie had two runs batted in and took one base on balls.

CCSU’s centerfielder Brittany Camara, and catcher Brittany McNull,a scored a run each. Camara had two hits and a run batted in, while Mcnulla had one hit and one base on balls.

Emily Sargent pitched for 4.2 innings for CCSU, allowing only one hit. Sargent struck out three batters, facing 15 batters total.
The Blue Devils were down five runs in the first inning before turning it around by dominating at the plate. CCSU scored two runs in the first inning, one in the second inning, four in the third and six in the fifth. CCSU finished with 23 at bats, and 13 runs with 11 hits. Two runs came from the base on balls.

Albany finished with five runs with six hits. Albany also had three base on balls.

The second game ended with CCSU beating Albany 9-1. The Blue Devils while not as fierce at the plate still churned out a win.
Debrosse went up to bat three times, with two hits and one run. Debrosse also took one base on balls and finished the day with five hits and four runs.

CCSU’s second base player Kaitlin Paterson, went up to bat two times. She had two hits and two runs. Paterson also had one run batted in and took two bases on balls. Paterson finished the day with two hits and three runs.

Camara scored two runs on one hit and had two bases on balls. She went up to bat two times in the second game and finished the day with three hits and three runs.

CCSU’s right fielder Kerri Dadalski, had one run and two bases on balls. She went up to bat two times in the second game. Dadalski finished the day with two runs, two hits and three bases on balls.
Sargent pitched the entire second game. She allowed only two hits and one run in her 12th start. Sargent also gave up two bases on balls and had one strike out, facing 18 batters total.

There were no defensive errors made in either game. The Blue Devils will continue the season at Boston College on March 28th.

Blue Devils Grab Second Win Against La Salle

by Humera Gul

Central Connecticut State’s softball team beat La Salle, 3-0 on March 11. Emily Sargent pitched her second consecutive complete game, recording her first shutout of the season. She allowed one hit in seven innings, while walking three batters and striking out two. Sargent improved her record to 2-4 this season.

Alexis Debrosse tripled on a hit to left field on the first at bat of the game for CCSU.  Emily Cronin reached first, on an error allowing Debrosse to score and take a 1-0 lead. Brittany McNulla then doubled to left center, scoring Cronin to give the Blue Devils a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Sarah Oglivie would single to right field and eventually score as Tori Constantin doubled to left field, giving the Blue Devils their third and final run.

Debrosse went up to bat four times. She was an offensive weapon for the Blue Devils again. She scored a run and a hit, striking out two times.

Emily Cronin had three at bats and one hit with one run scored and one RBI.

Oglivie went up to bat three times.  She also had one hit and one run.  Despite being a freshman, Oglivie has had a lot of impact as of late.

La Salle pitcher Reilly Gearhart threw a complete game with nine strike outs.  She allowed three runs on seven hits. Gearhart is now 1-3 when she starts for La Salle.

La Salle had no answer for CCSU, and weren’t able to score a single run the entire game.  La Salle’s lack of offense didn’t help their chances as they only had one hit, their only other offense came from three walks.

Softball Gets First Win Against UPenn

by Humera Gul

The Central Connecticut State University Softball team got their first win of the season, 6-3 against University of Pennsylvania on March 9. The game was at Eddie C. Moore Field in Clearwater, Florida. The game uplifted CCSU’s record to 1-5. UPenn dropped to 4-6.

Emily Sargent pitched a complete game for the Blue Devils. She struck out three and walked three, while giving up a total of nine hits and three runs, with only two earned.

Sargent stopped many attempts by the Quakers early in the game.  For the Blue Devils, Brittany McNulla and Brittany Camara played strong the entire game. McNulla had the team’s first hit and Camara began the rally in the sixth inning. Alexis Debrosse walked on four balls to first base in the sixth inning.

UPenn made two pitching changes to stop the rally from CCSU. However, it fell short as CCSU scored two more runs. Maddie Landry scored on a hit-by-pitch and Sarah Ogilvie brought in Camara with a single.

McNulla went up to bat four times and had one run and three hits and allowed a run. She went up to bat with a vengeance each time and hit three times in her four opportunities.

Kerri Dadalski went up to bat a total of three times. She had one run and one hit, and had 3 RBIs. Dadalski had a double play that sealed the game for the Blue Devils.

Debrosse went up to bat three times and had one run and no hits. She got the base on balls and could score for the Blue Devils and struck out once. Debrosse proved to be patient and took a base on balls delivered and scored off that base as the Blue Devils put together a good finish.

Come On, Eileen: Purcell Plates Three in Senior Day Split

N.A.S.

by Sean Begin

When the two teams tied for the top in the Northeast Conference met on the diamond Sunday, the opportunity was there for someone to emerge as the sole leader.

But after dropping the first game 2-0 and winning the second 3-0, Central Connecticut (28-9) and Robert Morris (24-20) remained tied for first, each team sporting a 12-2 record in conference play.

“I think that’s a perfect example of our conference, it’s so evenly matched, every team is so good,” said acting head coach Breanne Gleason. “Nicole [Sleith] is a great pitcher. She’s a strikeout pitcher, she’s a ground ball pitcher, she’s everything.”

Sleith held Central to just four hits in the game one shutout victory, striking out eight. Senior Laura Messina matched Sleith’s eight K’s and four hits allowed, but two sailed over the outfield fence courtesy of RMU’s Tess Apke.

The Blue Devils got to Sleith early in game two, giving Messina a 2-0 lead she would never relinquish.

After an Ashley Black bunt single and a throwing error by RMU’s shortstop, junior Eileen Purcell tripled to the right field corner, plating Black and senior Kat Malcolm. Purcell would deliver an unnecessary insurance run with two outs in the third, when she deposited a Sleith pitch over the left field wall.

“We all laugh because Eileen used to hate to hit,” said Gleason. “When she fields, she’s in such a good mood, and then when we do [batting practice], she’s not as happy. But this year she told us she was going to fake being happy during hitting so maybe she would like it more, and I think she’s starting to like it more after today.”

Purcell seems to have found her stride at the plate for more than just Sunday’s game. She’s been one of Central’s best hitters all season. She’s second on the team in RBIs (24) and third in home runs (4), average (.281) and slugging percentage (.447) while hitting in the cleanup spot this year.

“She’s a good person to put into that fourth slot because she’s really good with tough pitches,” said Gleason. “As a pitcher you’re going to throw your best stuff against 3-4-5, and she does a good job with tough pitches.”

The third-inning home run was the second of the weekend for Purcell. She sent one over the wall in the second game against St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday that plated two in a 6-0 Central victory. Like Sunday’s game two, Purcell finished that game with 3 RBIs and added a fourth in the 5-0 game one win. Purcell finished the weekend 4-for-10 with 7 RBIs, 2 home runs and a triple.

Sunday’s game one was the only rough spot in an otherwise polished weekend in the circle for Messina. Over 28 innings, she allowed just 16 hits and gave up only four walks, good for a 0.714 WHIP (walks/hits per inning pitched). She struck out 23 and allowed just the two runs on Sunday.

The three shutouts give Messina 15 on the season to lead the nation. Coming into the weekend, her 0.91 ERA was good for third in the country, but after lowering it to 0.85 with her performance this weekend, she could jump into second.

Despite the implications of Sunday’s series against Robert Morris, Central was focused heading into Saturday’s games against St. Francis (Pa.), according the Gleason and as evidenced by the outcome.

“If you overlook a team in this conference, you’re going to drop a game, maybe two,” said Gleason. “So we were really focused on St. Francis, then after the game, we started to focus on Robert Morris but we talked about both teams all week.”

Central finishes the season with a game at Quinnipiac on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. and a double-header at LIU-Brooklyn on May 2 at 1 p.m. to wrap up conference play. Regardless of the outcome of that last series, Central has clinched a spot in the NEC tournament that will start May 7 at either Robert Morris or home in New Britain.

Debrosse Delivers at the Plate and in the Field

by Navindra Persaud

Central Connecticut softball has been playing well this year, in no small part to exemplary performance by one of the team’s youngest players: freshman Alexis Debrosse.

Debrosse comes to New Britain by way of New Bedford High School in New Bedford, Mass. where she was named player of the year three times. Continue reading Debrosse Delivers at the Plate and in the Field

Swept

by Sean Begin

The Central Connecticut softball team, following the weekend, has played in three Northeast Conference double headers. All of them have been swept.

But this weekend’s games against LIU-Brooklyn on Saturday and Wagner on Sunday did not see the Blue Devils celebrating at the end of both days.

The Blackbirds (13-24, 2-2 NEC) took both games from Central (15-11, 4-2 NEC) on Saturday, blanking the Blue Devils in game one 4-0 before winning in extras — 4-3 — in game two.

Central had edged LIU-Brooklyn in the NEC preseason poll by a 5-4 vote to be named number one heading into the season.

Central responded against Wagner (13-17, 0-4 NEC) on Sunday, however, taking game one 2-1 before putting together a shut out of their own; winning 4-0 in game two.

“We didn’t really put it together,” said acting head coach Breanne Gleason of the team’s performance on Saturday. “We had a few good innings. Our defense was great. Laura threw well. We just couldn’t put it together on offense.”

The Blue Devils were held to just five hits in game one by LIU’s Cassie Vondrak who earned the win in both games on Saturday. Central had runners on second and third in both the first and third innings but failed to capitalize on the opportunity. Junior Kat Malcolm led the team with two hits.

LIU jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning of game two. Central took the lead on a two-run home run from Malcolm in the bottom of the third inning. LIU took the lead back with two runs in the top of the fifth.

But an RBI single from senior Tessa Brown that scored sophomore Evie Rentzel in the bottom of the inning tied the score, leading to extras. LIU scored the winning run in the top of the eighth and Vondrak pitched a 1-2-3 inning to finish the sweep.

“Against a really good team like LIU, if you don’t put it together, you’re not going to win. It just wasn’t our day,” said Gleason.

Junior Laura Messina took the losses in both games. She struck out six in the first game but gave up a home run and only fanned three in the second game.

The Blue Devils came back Sunday looking to right the offensive ship against the Seahawks of Wagner.

In game one on Sunday, Messina shut the Seahawks down, making the two runs the Blue Devils scored more than enough. Messina struck out 12 Wagner players in the contest. The only run came on a Wagner home run in the seventh to the first batter of the inning. Messina got the next batter to line out and she struck out the final two to seal the 2-1 Blue Devil win.

Freshman Alexis Debrosse knocked in senior Arielle Bruno in the first for the game’s first run. Rentzel scored the eventual winning run on a double in the sixth to score Malcolm.

Central opened the scoring early again in game two. Debrosse started things off by singling in Bruno.  Sophomore Eileen Purcell followed that up with a single to left that scored Rentzel.

The two runs proved more than enough for Messina who struck out eight to bring her total on the day to 20. She allowed six hits while holding the Seahawks scoreless.

“I feel like she — because LIU scored four runs in both games — as a pitcher she took a lot of brunt for that loss on herself,” said Gleason of Messina’s approach to Sunday’s games.

“So I think she came out today thinking if she can hold them to one or no runs that we have a way better shot. And with that mentality you can’t stop her.”

Central added a run in the fifth, on a single from Brown that scored Bruno, and another in the sixth, when senior Ashley Black scored on an error.

“We talked about stepping up and we talked about being in the box with a runner on two or three and saying ‘I’m going to get this RBI, I’m going to get this run in,’ instead of thinking that the person that’s on deck will do it,” said Gleason.

“I think they did a better job of stepping up and being the one to get that runner in today.”

Central will now hit the road for NEC play, after hosting their first three series of the year. Named preseason number one, the team now finds itself in fourth place in the conference, looking to improve.

“We’ve just got to hit one through nine. Right now, the top of our order looks pretty good; they’re getting on a lot,” said Gleason. “But we need everybody to hit. So we’re definitely going to look to spark the offense a little bit before we get to the weekend.”

Central will spend the next two weekends on the road, starting this weekend against Fairleigh Dickinson on April 12 and Bryant on April 13, both double headers.

Softball Sweeps Sacred Heart to Open NEC Play

Messina:Debrosse vs SHU (3-29-14) (Ernestina Souza)

 

by Sean Begin

The Central Connecticut softball team was looking for a fast start to conference play this season. Thanks to a sweep of Sacred Heart on Saturday, and some timely weather postponing all other Northeast Conference games, the Blue Devils now sit firmly in first place.

“It’s huge,” said acting head coach Breanne Gleason. “In this conference, with us dropping two teams, every win is going to count. I told the girls we have to go at every single team.”

“We want to host it here, we want to play here, and we want to make it to the tournament,” added senior Laura Messina. “And that means we have to win every game. No let up.”

Messina pitched both games for the Blue Devils (12-9, 2-0 NEC), shutting out Sacred Heart (9-10, 0-2 NEC) in the first game 5-0 and holding off a Pioneer rally to win 4-3 in the second game.

“We did a great job of coming out with a lot of energy,” said Gleason. “That first game we played really well; we were solid. That second game we were a little shaky but Sacred Heart came out swinging.”

The Blue Devil’s big hit in the first game came in the third inning, off the bat of freshman Alexis Debrosse who hit a two-run home run to right field that scored senior Tessa Brown.

“She swings hard every single time,” said Gleason of Debrosse. “As a freshman, to step up like that is huge. She’s not up there thinking ‘I’m a freshman, someone else can do it,’ she wants to get it done.”

Debrosse scored the previous inning, coming home from third on a sacrifice bunt from freshman Sami Duffy. A Sacred Heart error on a grounder from senior Arielle Bruno allowed sophomore Hannah Cooper to score the fourth run of the game.

Brown started the scoring for the Blue Devils in the bottom of the first when she doubled home Bruno, who had opened the inning with a single.

Messina held the Pioneers to just two hits over seven innings, fanning eight in the shutout.

“I think our team looked amazing,” said Messina of the Blue Devil’s first series at home. “It’s nice to come back after a bad weekend and know that our team is going to come up big with runs and plays.”

Central held off a fifth-inning rally from Sacred Heart to take the second game, as well.

Messina opened the inning with a walk before getting Jenn Robillard to fly out. Andrea Sidor followed up the out with a double to set the Pioneers up with runners on second and third and one out.

A sac bunt secured the second out but scored the runner from third, pulling the Pioneers within two. Messina walked and hit the next two batters to load the bases. Her third walk of the inning pulled Sacred Heart within one.

“That first game she came out, she looked rested, she looked good,” said Gleason of Messina’s day. “That second game she got in a little bit of a jam but I think that’s a credit to the Sacred Heart hitters. They made adjustments and our defense had to make the plays and they did.”

Messina ended the threat by getting Kelyn Fillmore to ground out and finished the game without allowing another base runner. Messina finished the game allowing three runs on four hits, walking and striking out three.

“Just trusting my pitches and trusting my defense,” said Messina of how she pitched out of the fifth inning jam. “I know everyone is going to make a play; like Eileen made an awesome play. I know that’s what’s going to happen when they put the ball in play.”

The Blue Devils scored all four of their runs in the fourth. Sophomore Eileen Purcell started the scoring by singling home fellow sophomore Evie Rentzel. Cooper picked up a pair of RBIs to give Central the lead, on a single to right that scored Purcell and Debrosse.

A balk from Sacred Heart pitcher Kaci Wentworth scored Cooper from third for the Blue Devil’s fourth and subsequent winning run of the game.

“That second game we were a little shaky but Sacred Heart came out swinging. And they did a great job. They’re a tough team,” said Gleason. “That second game is what the NEC is going to be all about. We have to practice situations like that for later on.”

Sunday’s double header at Fairleigh Dickinson was postponed, so the Blue Devils will return to NEC action again this weekend when they host two double headers: LIU-Brooklyn on Saturday and Wagner on Sunday.