March 30, 2013

Johnson and Blades combine for a no-hitter as softball sweeps York in first CAC contest

YORK, Pa. – The No. 9 Salisbury University softball team opened up play in the Capital Athletic Conference on Saturday with a sweep of York (Pa.) College. The Sea Gulls handled the Spartans 17-0 in the opener and then concluded the series with an 11-1 victory, both in run-rule fashion.

Salisbury scored 51 runs throughout the past week, which included a doubleheader sweep of Christopher Newport University, while allowing just seven runs.

Sophomore Rachel Johnson and freshman Meredith Blades combined for a no-hitter in the first contest. Johnson went four innings, in which she struck out nine Spartans while walking two before being relieved in the fifth by Blades who tallied two strikeouts, retiring the side.

Salisbury (20-2, 2-0 CAC) opened the day with a six-run first inning and then followed that with a seven-run second. Senior shortstop Hannah Mills would bring home classmate Michelle Gravdahl off a triple before designated player Lindsay Brown brought home Mills, with a single up the middle, for the 8-0 edge in the top of the second. A single by pinch hitter Virginia Walther brought home Brown followed by two-run singles from juniors Harley Hill and Sarah Alpaugh for the quick 13-0 lead.

Johnson earned the win in the circle, her 12th of the season, facing just 15 batters in four innings pitched.

The Sea Gulls scored 17 runs off 15 hits in the first contest.

In the second game, junior hurler Kathryn Larson kept the Spartans off-balance in the box, allowing just one run off two hits. Larson went all five innings with five strikeouts, picking up her eighth win.

York (4-16, 0-2 CAC) saw Payton Hill hit a home run in the bottom of the fourth inning for their only run of the day.

Salisbury scored 11 runs off 11 hits including an Alpaugh run scored in the top of the first off an illegal pitch and a four-run third inning.

Alpaugh led off the third inning with a double to center field and scored off Gravdahl's double to the same spot. The Sea Gulls earned three additional runs off the bats of freshman Paige Knussman and senior Carly Read to head into the bottom of the fourth up 5-0.

Six more runs would touch home for the Sea Gulls as they went on to win 11-1.

Read finished the day going 3-for-4 with a team-high five RBIs. Gravdahl went 3-for-5 with one double, five runs scored and three RBIs while Mills and Aplaugh each had two doubles.

Salisbury returns home for a CAC doubleheader against the University of Mary Washington on Saturday, April 6. First pitch is set for 12:30 p.m. The Sea Gulls will then turn around and host Washington (Md.) College on Sunday, April 7 with a start time of 1 p.m.

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