FROSTBURG, Md. – The No. 1 Salisbury University softball team closed the Capital Athletic Conference regular season with a doubleheader sweep at Frostburg State University on Sunday afternoon.
The Sea Gulls won by scores of 11-3 and 10-1, to earn a tie for the regular-season CAC title with Christopher Newport University, which Salisbury split the regular-season series against. A coin toss took place following Sunday's games to determine the top seed for the CAC tournament, and the host of the event, and the Captains grabbed the top spot by the flip of the coin.
Game one: Salisbury 11, Frostburg St. 3
The opening game remained tight until Salisbury put things away with eight runs in the final three innings.
The Sea Gulls scored the only runs of the first four innings in the top of the third, pushing across three runs. After senior Angelia McDowell walked to begin the inning, sophomore Kim Dorsey just missed a home run, coming up with a triple off the right-center field fence, for a 1-0 Salisbury advantage.
After a pair of fielder's choice plays, the Gulls extended their lead when junior Rebecca Hoey blasted a two-run home to center field, her third long ball of the year. It was the start of a powerful day for the Sea Gulls, as they ripped six home runs in the doubleheader.
Salisbury held the 3-0 lead into the fifth inning, when it got insurance runs in the form of a two-run Paige Knussman home run to push the lead to five.
The Bobcats would get to Salisbury starting pitcher Rachel Johnson in the bottom of the fifth, for two runs. Frostburg put its first runner of the game on base in the bottom of the second, ending Johnson's run of perfect innings at 12 1/3.
It was a three-run home run for Savannah Hose that got the Bobcats on the board, just the second long ball given up by Johnson this season.
The Gulls would come right back, in the top of the sixth, scoring three times on four hits, keyed by Hoey's two-run single plating sophomore Katie Sebbane and Knussman to push the lead back to five runs, 8-3.
Salisbury would add three more runs in the seventh to close out the win as Johnson improved her record to 17-0 this season, striking out seven in the complete-game effort.
Hoey was 2-for-4 in the game, with the four runs driven in, while Dorsey finished 3-for-3, scoring three times and Sebbane also had three hits in the contest.
Game two: Salisbury 10, Frostburg St. 1 (5 inn.)
For Salisbury in the second game, starting pitcher Kathryn Larson gave up a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning and nothing else. The senior saw Caitlin Lovend go deep as the first batter she faced, then retired the next 15 batters she faced to collect the win.
Larson struck out one and walked none, allowing just three other balls leave the infield the entire game.
Salisbury never trailed in the game as Lovend's shot tied the game, following Dorsey's solo home run in the top of the first. The blast to right-center field is the sophomore's 14th of the year, just three shy of the program single-season record.
Salisbury would take control, as it did in the first game, in the top of the third inning. This time the Sea Gulls put up four runs. McDowell and Dorsey reached on singles before Sebbane blasted the first of her two home runs of the game, a three-run shot for a 4-1 lead.
Hoey would step to the plate next and rip a solo shot for the 5-1 lead.
As Larson continued to cruise, the Sea Gulls would put the game away in the fifth with a two-run double by Knussman, followed by a two-run homer from Sebbane, her sixth of the season.
Larson would close the game out in the bottom of the fifth with a flyout, groundout, and pop out for her 14th win of the year.
Dorsey was again 3-for-3 in the game. She scored three times, while McDowell, Knussman, Sebbane, and Hoey each had two hits.
The CAC tournament begins on Thursday, April 17, at Christopher Newport. As the second-seeded team, the Sea Gulls will take on third-seeded Frostburg State in their opening game of the tournament on Thursday, beginning at noon.