SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 3 Salisbury University softball team earned a pair of wins on the first day of the Salisbury Invitational at the SU Softball Field, defeating the State University of New York at New Paltz, 6-0, before taking down Capital University, 7-2 in the final game of the day.
Game 1: Salisbury 6, SUNY New Paltz 0
The Sea Gulls, playing as the visiting team, got the scoring started early in their first game, putting up a pair of runs in the top of the first inning.
Harley Hill started the frame with a leadoff single to left field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Hill came around to score on a double to left-center field by sophomore Kim Dorsey and classmate Paige Knussman traded places with Dorsey with her own double into the left-field corner, giving Salisbury a 2-0 lead.
The two runs would prove to be plenty for junior pitcher Rachel Johnson, who would scatter five New Paltz (1-5) hits while striking out a dozen and keeping her unblemished earned-run average intact, improving to 6-0 with the win.
Salisbury would pad the lead in the top of the fifth inning, taking advantage of a Hawk error, and an Alexis Peay single to score Knussman for the 3-0 lead.
The lead doubled in the top of the seventh. After Knussman was hit by a pitch and sophomore Katie Sebbane reached on an error, sophomore Molly Simpson turned on the first the first pitch she saw from New Paltz pitcher Katie Rutcofsky hooking a ball out to left field for a three-run home run, the first of her career.
Game 2: Salisbury 7, Capital 2
Senior pitcher Kathryn Larson controlled the early stages of the second game of the day for the Sea Gulls, not allowing a base runner until the top of the third inning, and allowing just three base runners in the first four innings of play.
In that time, Salisbury's bats staked Larson to a 4-0 lead, scoring four times in the bottom of the third. Dorsey and Knussman each walked to open the third for Salisbury (12-0) before the Sea Gulls grabbed the lead on Katie Sebbane's single to right, plating Dorsey.
Freshman Caitlin Lake pinch ran for Sebbane, and stole second. After a pair of outs Simpson battled Capital (7-3) starting pitcher Alyssa Patznick to an 11-pitch walk to load the bases. Senior Angelia McDowell would walk to force home Salisbury's second run and Hill hit into a Crusader error which brought home two more for the four-run advantage.
The walks were two of 11 that Salisbury drew from Patznick in the game, forcing the Capital junior to throw 175 pitches in the game.
Capital would cut into the lead with one run in the top of the fifth, but the Gulls came right back to plate three in the home half of the inning, highlighted by Knussman's two-run home run, her second long ball of the year, for a 7-1 lead.
The Crusaders would tack on a run in the sixth, but it would not be enough as Larson improved to 6-0 on the season, striking out four while allowing a walk and seven hits in her second complete game of the year.
Salisbury will play the same two teams on Saturday, March 15. After New Paltz and Capital square off at 10 a.m., Salisbury and Capital will play at noon. The event will end with the Sea Gulls and the Hawks meeting at 2 p.m.