The Central Connecticut softball team's chase for the 2018 NEC title ended on Friday, May 11 in the second round of the Northeast Conference Tournament in a 7-4 defeat to LIU Brooklyn. The Blackbirds' sixth inning four-run rally proved to be the deciding factor in the elimination game in Loretto, PA.
The Blackbirds clean-up hitter, Victoria Zamora gave LIU a two-run edge in the top of the first inning on a two-run homer to straight-away center field. Junior Kaitlin Paterson got the Blue Devil offense started with a hard-driven single through the left side of the infield but was left stranded on third at the end of the first stanza.
Silverman and company settled in and retired LIU in order in the top of the second inning, bringing senior Gianna Hathaway to lead off for CCSU. Hathaway, who went 2-3 yesterday including her second home run of the season, picked up where she left slicking a single past the Blackbirds shortstop. However, Long Island's pitcher Victoria Lowe held the Blue Devil scoreless.
In the top of the fourth inning, LIU's Ryleigh Bermea homered to center field to extend the lead to three runs. Head coach Breanne Gleason brought in senior Emily Sargent from the bullpen who finished off the inning with three straight groundouts.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, freshman Sydney Bolan got ahold of an off-speed pitch sending it over the left-center field fence to deliver CCSU's first run of the game. The Hathaway sisters battled for back-to-back walks forcing LIU to make a pitching change, bringing in Hailey Irvis with two one and one out.
Junior Kerri Dadalsk launched a warning track sac fly with the bases loaded that scored rookie pinch runner, Kristen Ulmer. Junior Kaitlin Paterson drove in the game-tying run, but CCSU's spurt would be interrupted on a tag out at third to end the inning.
Sargent kept the Blackbirds quiet in the top of the fifth, imposing two routine defensive plays. Veteran catcher Brittany McNulla sealed the third out of the inning, catching LIU's Patricia Griffin stealing second.
Facing their third pitcher of the game, Erynn Sobieski, the Blue Devils took a 4-3 lead, thanks to McNulla's second dinger of the year to left center field.
LIU answered right back in the top of the sixth inning on a three-run homer from Shae Dickson to take a 6-4 edge. An RBI-double granted the Blackbirds another run before the end of the inning. Central Connecticut was unable to rally in the final two innings as its 2018 campaign came to a close.
Paterson led the Blue Devil offense with two hits in four at-bats. Sargent ended her senior season with an overall record of 8-13.