New Britain, CT - Jen Russell (Seymour, CT) tossed a complete game shutout in Sacred Heart's 4-0 opening game win of a double header against Central Connecticut State Saturday afternoon. However, the Blue Devils got a two-hit shutout from game two starter Elizabeth Montemurro and claimed a 2-0 victory to force a split. Taylor Froelich (Garden Grove, CA) and Liz Tsipouras (Simi Valley, CA) both hit homers for the Pioneers in the first game of the day.
Sacred Heart (17-15, 6-2 NEC) got a run from the first batter of the afternoon as Froelich leadoff with a solo homer to make it 1-0, her fifth long ball of 2011. Russell worked out of trouble in the first inning and stranded a pair of CCSU base runners. The senior pitcher would leave 10 Blue Devils on the base paths en route to picking up her ninth win and fourth shutout of the season. In the second inning, Jade Bowins (Frederick MD) slashed a RBI single to center field, scoring Melissa Tobin (Hudson, MA), to give SHU a 2-0 advantage.
The Pioneers got a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh as Tsipouras launched a two-run homer, moving the score line to 4-0. Tsipouras improved her Northeast Conference RBI total to 33, plating just over one run per game so far in 2011. Russell allowed for no drama in the final inning, retiring the side in order to secure the 4-0 triumph for Sacred Heart.
Central Connecticut State (17-10-1, 5-1 NEC) managed just two hits in the second contest of the day off of SHU starter Nicole Sidor (West Vancouver, BC). However, the Blue Devils scored both runs of game two on their first hit, a two-run homer from Arielle Bruno. Other than the one mistake, Sidor was lights out and recorded 13 strikeouts in six innings of work. The Pioneer sophomore now has 118 K's this season and is averaging 10.8 per seven innings.
Sidor also had one of the Pioneers two hits of the game in the second inning as SHU got a pair of runners on base in the frame. But Montemurro would get out of the jam and allow only one more Pioneer to reach base the rest of the afternoon. The CCSU senior retired the final 11 batters she faced to finish off her complete game gem and force Sacred Heart to settle for a road split of the NEC double header.
The Pioneers return to action tomorrow afternoon for another league double header on the road, traveling to Fairleigh Dickinson for a 12:00 pm first pitch.