Softball Falls to In-State Rival CCSU, 8-0, in Five Innings

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – A renewal of an annual rivalry didn't go in favor of the Quinnipiac University softball team as they dropped their final non-conference game of 2014, 8-0, in five innings to Central Connecticut State.

In a meeting of two former conference foes, the Blue Devils (28-14) got the better of the Bobcats (10-33) as CCSU limited Quinnipiac to just three hits on Thursday from CCSU Softball Field. Highlighting the Bobcats in defeat was their sophomore outfielder Courtney Solt (Boyertown, Pa.) who moved to within one hit of becoming the second Bobcat ever to reach 100 career hits before the end of their sophomore season.

The only other Bobcats to tally hits on the day was sophomore Abby Johnson (Chelmsford, Mass.) and junior Hannah Lindsley (Narragansett, R.I.) who picked up her eighth double of the season. Junior Jordan Paolucci (Lake Mary, Fla.) had her Div. I program record hitting streak snapped at 17 games as she finished the day 0-for-2 at the plate.

Quinnipiac was up against it on Thursday in the form of the Blue Devils' one man wrecking crew in junior pitcher Laura Messina. The CCSU ace picked up her 23rd win and 13th shutout of the season which ranks first in the country. Facing one of the top pitchers in the nation certainly proved a daunting challenge for the Bobcats but the Blue Devils' bats also came to play on Thursday.

CCSU jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after the first inning of play. Arielle Bruno got things started with a leadoff home run and Eileen Purcell also drove in a run with an RBI double later that inning.

The Bobcats' sophomore starting pitcher Sydney Robey (Glenmoore, Pa.) settled down after the three-run first as she retired the Blue Devils in-order in the second inning.

Quinnipiac looked to strike back for a run against Messina in the third as Solt poked a single up the middle and later in the inning stole second base but that was as far as she would get as a foul out put an end to the threat.

The momentum seemed to tip in favor of the Blue Devils as three more runs came across in the bottom of the third inning. Two run-scoring singles and an RBI groundout accounted for the CCSU runs.

Johnson put some pressure on Messina as she led off with a single through the right side and advanced to second on a passed ball but three straight outs against allowed CCSU to escape with their shutout still intact.

One final push for the Bobcats started with a leadoff double from Lindsley in the fifth inning but Messina again limited Quinnipiac with runners in scoring position. She pitched into some trouble but escaped every time as the Bobcats finished the day 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

CCSU ended the game with a walk-off RBI triple from Kat Malcolm which led to a mercy rule 8-0 victory for the Blue Devils.

The Bobcats will wrap up their 2014 season at home this weekend as they welcome two very unfamiliar opponents in Niagara and Canisius. Quinnipiac has faced Niagara just once and never before seen the Golden Griffins. Senior Day will commence on Sunday with the honoring of Katie Alfiere (Beacon Falls, Conn.) before the start of play at Noon.

Contact: Maxx McNall;