NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – The Holy Cross softball team returned to the field this afternoon falling to Central Connecticut State on the road by a score of 9-3. The Crusaders rallied to tie the score 3-3 in the top of the fifth inning on a solo home run by freshman Abigail Lang (Londonderry, N.H.) and two-run homer by senior Camille Trainor (Worcester, Mass.), but the Blue Devils put up six runs in the bottom of the sixth to come away with the victory.
After a scoreless first inning, Central Connecticut State got on the board first as freshman Crusader pitcher Tori Cheske (Thomaston, Conn.) struggled to find the plate. Cheske walked Macy Stefanski who made her way to third base on two wild pitches. Sarah Vlahos then singled to score Stefanski and give the Blue Devils the 1-0 advantage.
Sophomore Kelliner Croushore (Claremont, Calif.) doubled with two outs in the top of the second and fellow sophomore Alex Gustafson (Medford, Mass.) hit a two-out single in the top of the third inning, but the Crusaders were unable to bring them around to score. The Blue Devils came to bat in the bottom of the third and Arielle Bruno led-off with a home run over the left field fence. Vlahos tallied her second RBI of the game in the bottom of the fourth when she doubled to left field to drive in Lauren Alibozek.
With two outs in the top of the fifth inning, the Crusader bats came alive to produce a three-run rally. Lang cut the Blue Devils lead to 3-1 with her first career home run over the left field fence off Central Connecticut State pitcher Laura Messina. After Gustafson recorded her second hit of the game with a single to left center, Trainor blasted her first home run of the season and third of her career over the left field fence to tie the score, 3-3.
Central Connecticut State came to bat in the bottom of the sixth inning with the score still tied when Stefanski reached on her second single of the game and advanced to second on a throwing error. The next batter, pinch hitter Stephanie Chotkevys, laid down a sacrifice bunt but reached and advanced to second on a throwing error by the pitcher. Stefanski came around to score on the play and gave the Blue Devils the 4-3 lead. Bruno then tallied her second RBI of the game with a two-out single up the middle. Rebecca Mussatti then singled moving Bruno up to second base, and Tessa Brown drove her in on a single to left field. The clean-up batter, Nicole Springer, then came to plate and hit a three-run home run to center field to make the score 9-3 and bring Cheske's outing to an end. Cheske finished having gone five and two-thirds innings allowing 11 hits and nine runs (three earned) while striking out four. Junior Jenna Legros (Sandy Hook, Conn.) came on in relief and retired the only batter she faced.
The Crusaders went down in order in the top of the seventh inning as Central Connecticut State improved its record to 16-8. Messina recorded the complete game win allowing seven hits and three runs while striking out 10 to move to 10-3 on the season. Cheske fell to 0-4. Senior Gwen Reimer (Pottsville, Pa.) doubled to lead off the fourth and Croushore added her second hit of the game in the top of the sixth to round out the Crusaders' offense.
Holy Cross (2-13) will host its first home games of the season at Freshman Field on Saturday, March 24, in a doubleheader against Marist beginning at 1:00 p.m.