SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 4 Salisbury University softball team is set to make its 19th run in the NCAA tournament, hosting the Salisbury, Maryland Regional of the NCAA Division III Softball Tournament this weekend at the SU Softball Field. The Sea Gulls open action on Friday, at 3:30 p.m., hosting Penn State University Berks.
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How we got here
Salisbury received an at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Softball Championship, following a 35-3 regular season. The Sea Gulls were the No. 2 seed in the Capital Athletic Conference tournament, and fell in the championship game to Christopher Newport University.
How they got here
Penn State Berks (29-8) made the tournament as the North Eastern Athletic Conference champions, with a 29-8 record and a perfect 3-0 run through the NEAC tournament, allowing just three runs.
While Salisbury features contributing talent from each of its classes, the group that has come alive in 2014 is the sophomores. Five sophomores are in starting roles this season. Designated player Paige Knussman and third baseman Katie Sebbane started as freshman, while second baseman Molly Simpson, shortstop Kim Dorsey, and center fielder Rachel Spadin have all stepped into key roles after combining for 32 games played and no starts in 2013. Each of the sophomores has started every game this year, except Simpson, who's started all but one.
At the top of the Hill
Salisbury senior first baseman Harley Hill has been a starter since the day she stepped on campus. She has played in and started all 170 games that the program has played in the past four years. She's been a stellar defensive player, while being the table setter as the leadoff hitter since day one, as well, batting .384 over her career and scoring 141 runs, which rank seventh in program history.
The winner of today's game advances to Saturday's 11 a.m., winners' bracket game against the winner of Friday's first contest, between Manhattanville College and No. 24 William Paterson University. Friday's winners would need at least two more wins to claim the regional title.