Knussman, Johnson lead Sea Gulls past Shorewomen in doubleheader sweep

CHESTERTOWN, Md. – The No. 2 Salisbury University softball team improved its record to 17-1 on Thursday, sweeping No. 23 Washington (Md.) College in a doubleheader, 19-1 and 9-3, at the Washington College Softball Field.

Game One: Salisbury 19, Washington 1

After the first two innings, the first game was shaping up to be a pitchers' duel, with the Sea Gulls notching the only two hits to that point, and junior pitcher Rachel Johnson retiring the first six batters she faced, including four strikeouts.

However, the Salisbury offense got started in the top half of the third inning. After sophomore Rachel Spadin reached on a Shorewomen error, sophomore Kim Dorsey ripped a double to right-center field to score Spadin for the first run.

Dorsey, along with sophomore Paige Knussman, led the SU offense with four and three RBIs, respectively; Knussman went 4-for-5 at the plate, raising her season average to .635, while Dorsey went 2-for-4 and scored five runs.

Knussman followed with a single to drive in Dorsey and put the Gulls ahead 2-0.

SU added another run in the fourth, before opening up for four more in the fifth.

Senior Angelia McDowell opened the inning with a single, before Dorsey reached after being hit by a pitch. Knussman doubled and sophomore Katie Sebbane singled in consecutive at-bats to drive in the first two base runners, and junior Rebecca Hoey followed with another double to drive in Knussman.

A wild pitch scored pinch-runner freshman Bridgette Vogan to give Salisbury a 7-0 lead.

Sebbane, one of two Gulls to go 3-for-5 in the contest, added her second hit in the sixth, driving in Dorsey and give the Sea Gulls an eight-run advantage, but Washington answered with its only run in the bottom half of the inning to push the game into the seventh; Sebbane finished with three RBIs, as well.

The Salisbury offense exploded in the seventh inning with 11 runs on eight hits to cap the win. Dorsey batted twice, driving in three runs, including a two-run homerun that capped the inning, and Knussman, Sebbane and Hoey all added their final hits and RBIs; Hoey also went 3-for-5 and drove in two.

Along with Dorsey, three other Sea Gulls registered two hits, and Johnson went the distance for her ninth win of the season, allowing only six hits and one unearned run, while fanning 11 Shorewomen.

Game Two: Salisbury 9, Washington 3

Salisbury's offense picked up right where it left off, scoring two runs in the first inning to take an early lead to start the second game of the doubleheader.

Knussman knocked in both runs on one swing, blasting her first homerun of the game, while scoring senior Harley Hill; Hill walked to lead off the game and get on base. Knussman again led the SU attack, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs and four runs in the game, giving her seven hits on the day.

Sophomore Molly Simpson continued SU's power display in the second with her second homerun of the season to give the Gulls a three-run lead.

A Washington blast by Kristin Cooper in the bottom of the second cut the lead, but junior Angela Malgieri's RBI single put Salisbury back up by three, 4-1, in the third.

The Shorewomen cut the lead to one with a two-run third inning, but Salisbury would put the game out of reach in its next at bat. In the top half of the fourth, four-straight RBI hits, including doubles by Dorsey and Sebbane and singles by Knussman and Hoey, put the Sea Gulls ahead 8-3.

Knussman added her second homerun, giving her five for the season, to cap the win in the sixth inning.

Sebbane and Simpson joined Knussman as the three SU players with three hits in the contest, while Dorsey and Hill each added two.

Senior pitcher Kathryn Larson started the game for the Sea Gulls, and Johnson entered to pitch four and one-thirds innings of relief for her second win of the day and 10th of the season, allowing only two hits with five strikeouts.

Salisbury now looks forward to a Capital Athletic Conference doubleheader on Sunday, traveling to Frostburg State University; game one is set to start at 12:30 p.m.

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