SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 2 Salisbury University softball team rolled to a pair of Capital Athletic Conference wins, defeating Penn State University-Harrisburg , 8-0 and 11-1, at the SU Softball Field on Sunday afternoon.
Game one: Salisbury 8, Penn St. Harrisburg 0 (5 inn.)
With strong pitching and timely offense, the Sea Gulls finished off the first game of the doubleheader in just over an hour despite not scoring until the third inning.
The Lions would get the leadoff runner on in the top of the second inning, and the frame was extended by a Salisbury error. But Salisbury starting pitcher Kathryn Larson would retire Amanda Hartman on strikes to end the inning with runners on first and second base.
Salisbury would get on the board in the bottom of the third inning. Senior Harley Hill went with an 0-and-2 pitch the other way into the left-center field gap for a two-out double. She advanced to third when Angelia McDowell bunted back to Hartman, the Lions' starting pitcher, but the ball got through, giving the Sea Gulls runners at the corners.
The table was set for sophomore shortstop Kim Dorsey, who fouled off the first pitch she saw from Hartman, before driving the next pitch out for a three-run home run to right field. It was Dorsey's 11th home run of the year and her third-consecutive game with a round tripper, becoming one of just nine players in the NCAA Division III record book to accomplish that feat.
The Lions would threaten in the next half inning, getting a walk by Leah Palm and a single by Gabrielle Wolfe to open the inning with runners at the corners and no outs. Larson would get a sharp grounder up the middle, which Dorsey fielded a step away from the second base bag, turning the quick double play to Hill at first, keeping Palm at third base. Larson would then get a groundout to Hill to escape the jam.
Salisbury would extend its lead in the fourth inning, putting together four hits to score five runs, highlighted by Paige Knussman's two-run single to left field to push the lead to 8-0.
Knussman and Sebbane each went 2-for-3 in the game, while Hill led the way with a 3-for-3 effort with two runs scored and one driven in.
Larson struck out four and gave up just three hits in four innings as freshman Ashley Lesniewski worked a perfect fifth inning to finish off the win.
Game two: Salisbury 11, Penn St. Harrisburg 1 (5 inn.)
The Salisbury offense would continue to roll into the second game, as the Sea Gulls grabbed the early lead, scoring in the first inning. Hill led off the bottom of the first with another opposite-field double. Harrisburg left fielder Mackenzie Trafka cut the ball off before it could get to the gap, but Hill went hard out of the batter's box to get to second base. She advanced to third on McDowell's sacrifice bunt before Dorsey laced a ball to right field. Keriann Saich was there for the catch, but it was deep enough to easily score Hill on the sacrifice fly and the 1-0 lead.
Salisbury (25-1, 5-1 CAC) put up two more runs in the second. Rebecca Hoey led off the inning with a single to center field, and after two outs, Rachel Spadin gave the Gulls a 3-0 lead with her first career home run. She sent a sinking liner to left field where Trafka came charging in to try to make the play. The ball got under her glove and deflected off her leg into center field.
With the deflection, Spadin was racing around the bases and was rounding third base when the throw towards the infield was not controlled by the shortstop allowing Spading to slide home with the inside-the-park home run.
Harrisburg would put together two hits in the top of the third, to score a run, cutting the lead to 3-1, but it was as close at the Lions (6-12, 1-5 CAC) would get as Larson worked another strong four innings, scattering five hits while striking out a pair for her 11th win of the year.
In the third, Salisbury lengthened its lead. After a sharp single off the fence in right field by Dorsey, Knussman ripped her seventh home run of the year and the two-run shot gave the Gulls a 5-1 lead.
Dorsey drove in another run in the fourth and Sebbane ripped a three-run home run to left-center field, her fourth of the season, for the 9-1 lead.
Lesniewski came on for another 1-2-3 fifth inning to close out the sweep and push Salisbury's winning streak to 10.
Hoey went 3-for-3 in the nightcap while Dorsey, Knussman, Sebbane and Spadin each had two hits.
The Sea Gulls will return to action on Tuesday, April 8 traveling to Frostburg State University for a CAC doubleheader. The first game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.