SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 4 Salisbury University softball team opens a best-of-three NCAA Division III Super Regional on Friday, May 16, against No. 5 Christopher Newport University. The first game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.
The series is slated to continue on Saturday with the second game scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., followed by the third and deciding game, if necessary.
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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. Salisbury was named one of 16 regional hosts, rolling to three wins to claim the regional title, and then named a super regional host.
How They Got Here
If Christopher Newport is to advance to the World Series for the fourth time in program history, it will have to do so on the road for the entire run. The Captains traveled to Virginia Wesleyan College for the regional tournament, defeating the Marlins twice, with a win against Catholic University of America to open play.
Despite just becoming conference members together this year, when Christopher Newport joined the Capital Athletic Conference, the Sea Gulls and Captains have a long history. The teams have met 62 times since 1989, with the record nearly even. The Captains have claimed 32 meetings, Salisbury has won 28 and the teams have tied twice. At the SU Softball Field, the play is even, with each team winning 12 times, along with a tie. The teams have squared off five times in NCAA tournament play, with the Captains holding a slight, 3-2 edge.
Salisbury sophomore Molly Simpson came to the plate in Salisbury's first game of the regional tournament in a key spot in the bottom of the sixth inning. Penn State University Berks had just tied the game, in the top half, and Simpson batted with two runners on and one out. Simpson turned on the first pitch she saw for a three-run home run, propelling the Sea Gulls to the 5-2 win. Simpson was named the regional tournament's Most Outstanding Player, batting .556 (5-for-9) with six runs batted in.
The team that wins this weekend will advance to the NCAA Division III World Series to be played in Tyler, Texas from May 22 through 27. Each program is in search of its first softball national championship.