Dorothy once said it and now so might the Pirates: There’s no place like home.The Seton Hall softball team swept Central Connecticut State University in a rainy doubleheader Tuesday afternoon in the first games of the season at Ivy Hill Park. The Hall’s bats exploded in a 15-0 nightcap, directly following a much closer 3-2 win earlier in the day. “It feels good to win,” Head Coach Ray Vander May said of the wins, which snapped a four game losing streak in the process. “They haven’t stopped working. When you get a couple of wins it makes it all worthwhile.”Senior Danielle Zanzalari was staked to a ten-run lead in the first inning of the nightcap and shut the door on the Blue Devils immediately, scattering four hits over five scoreless innings en route to her first win, and the first Pirate shut-out of the season.”It’s important to come home,” Zanzalari said. “We as a team decided we wanted a clean slate. We came in thinking we were 0-0, and now we’re 2-0.”Seton Hall (5-11) got things going early from the plate in the familiar confines of Ivy Hill Park. The Pirates came alive in the first chasing Blue Devils’ closer Abby Harpp from the game with ten runs, nine earned. Five more runs in the third would finish the scoring for the day and be more than enough for the win.The Hall amassed 13 hits and drew seven walks in four innings at the plate against CCSU (7-10). Ten different Pirates crossed home plate with five scoring two runs apiece.The opener on Tuesday was a different story but had the same result as Seton Hall finished off a close 3-2 win behind a dominating performance from Ashley Forsyth. The senior yielded two un-earned runs on only five hits, while striking out eight in seven innings of work.Junior Michelle Reed went 2-3 in the game and scored twice, including the go-ahead run on a single from freshman Brooke Tull in the bottom of the third.The comforts of home certainly emerged for the Pirates as they scored 18 total runs on Tuesday. The team managed only one run in their previous four games, all of which were played on the road.”It feels comfortable to be home practicing and then playing,” junior Brittany Schillizzi said.Schillizzi, a two-time Big East Weekly Honor Roll recipient, had struggled early this season. Tuesday however, she seemed to have found herself at the plate with a return home. A .320 batter from a year ago, she went 2-5 on the day and reached base three times while scoring twice.”I went in there with the mentality that it’s the first game of the season,” Schillizzi said.Schillizzi and the Pirates appear to have broken out of their slump at the right place and time, as they begin Big East play with a three-game series against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, including a doubleheader this Saturday at Ivy Hill Park.Notre Dame boasts an impressive 18-5 record and will host Toledo in a double-header today before traveling to South Orange.”Notre Dame is going to be a different team,” Vander May said. “You go into those games knowing that you face a huge task, but you also know that you can win.”With their recent play, and the comforts of home, there’s no reason for the Pirates to think any differently. First pitch Saturday is set for noon.
Zachary Cziryak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.