WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite being held to its fewest runs scored since early March, the No. 4 Salisbury University softball team took two wins from Catholic University of America on Saturday afternoon in its final regular-season road contest. The Sea Gulls blanked the Cardinals in the first game, 4-0, and then earned a game-two victory with a 3-2 decision.
Salisbury (28-2) and Catholic would play four innings of scoreless softball as sophomore pitcher Rachel Johnson fanned nine batters in the opening innings. The Preston, Md., native had 17 strikeouts in the contest to set a new career-high.
The Sea Gulls scored the game-winning run in the top of the fifth as junior Harley Hill got on base with a double to right field with two outs. Senior Sarah Alpaugh went 3-for-4 in the box, including her single to center field in the fifth that plated Hill for the win.
Salisbury would add three runs in the top of the sixth as freshman Katie Sebbane led off the inning being hit by a pitch. The maroon and gold loaded the bases, setting up Alpaugh who singled to left field to plate junior Angelia McDowell and senior Lindsay McCabe, 3-0. Senior Michelle Gravdahl would cap off SU's scoring with a single to the gap in right field to bring home Hill for the final run of the contest.
Johnson retired the side in the sixth inning and then after Rose Shaver led off the seventh with a single, the sophomore earned three strikeouts to end the contest, 4-0.
Catholic (15-11) would earn a run in the second inning of game two, after Hill's double in the top of the inning gave SU a 1-0 edge. The Cardinals scored off Erin Lockwood's single with one out and runners on second and third. Salisbury would turn a double play as senior Carly Read caught a Monica Peters pop-up and then made the throw to third to end the inning.
Junior pitcher Kathryn Larson pitched three complete innings, allowing just one run off five hits and striking out four Cardinals, before Johnson entered the circle with a runner on in the fourth.
Salisbury regained control of the lead in the top of the fourth off Hill's single but would need Sebbane's single to left field in the fifth to secure the win as Catholic would come score a run in the bottom of the seventh, 3-2, off a Tori Marcavage groundout to shortstop. Johnson would then take down Lockwood to pick up the win, her 18th of the season.
The Sea Gulls return to the SU Softball Field for the first of its final three regular-season home contests. SU will take on Stevenson University in a non-conference doubleheader starting at noon on Sunday, April 14.