NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – The Crusaders were unable to put a run on the board as the Holy Cross softball team was swept by Central Connecticut on Wednesday afternoon by scores of 2-0 and 8-0. Holy Cross is now 6-12 on the season while the Blue Devils improve to 14-9.
Freshman Emily Jarvis (Hopkinton, Mass.) led off the game with a bunt single and senior Sam Fregenti (Melville, N.Y.) hit a one-out double to put two runners in scoring position, but it would be the closest any Crusader would come to crossing home plate. Central Connecticut pitcher Laura Messina retired the next two batters in a row to get out of the jam. Holy Cross junior hurler Julia Barrett (Gardner, Mass.) also escaped the bottom half of the first inning, getting three putouts in a row to leave runners on second and third.
Freshmen led the way offensively for the Crusaders despite the team being unable to score. Colleen Ahern (Northbrook, Ill.) singled in the top of the fourth, Hailey Mullen (Plainville, Mass.) recorded a pinch hit base knock in the top of the sixth and Sarah Kane (Jacksonville, Fla.) doubled in the top of the sixth as Holy Cross totaled five hits in the game.
Kelsey Barlow broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth inning as she drove in two runs on a single down the left field line that scored Arielle Bruno, who was hit by a pitch, and Kat Malcolm, who singled. Messina retired the side in order in the top of the seventh as the Crusaders suffered a 2-0 loss.
Freshman pitcher Gennifer Durham (Abbeville, S.C.), who came on in relief of Barrett in the sixth inning, took the loss after allowing two runs on four hits. Barrett posted five complete innings of work and allowed just four hits. Messina (9-5) pitched seven complete innings, allowing five runs while striking out 13.
After two and a half scoreless innings, Central Connecticut took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning as Nicole Springer singled and Tessa Brown followed with a double, both recording a run batted in. The Blue Devils send all nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth, putting up five runs to increase their lead to 7-0.
Back-to-back doubles by Evie Rentzel and Eileen Purcell in the bottom of the fifth ended the game early as the Blue Devils came away with an 8-0 victory. Jarvis, senior Kat Rosenthal (Boston, Mass.) and sophomore Emma Keough (Rochester, Mass.) posted the only three hits for the Crusaders.
Durham suffered the loss to move to 4-5 on the season, going three complete innings and allowing two runs on three hits while striking out two. Senior Jenna Legros (Sandy Hook, Conn.) and Stuckey came on in relief, pitching one-third and two-thirds of an inning, respectively.
The Crusaders will return to action on Saturday, March 30, with their first two Patriot League conference games of the season at Lafayette beginning at 12:00 p.m.