TYLER, Texas – With Thursday's win against the University of St. Thomas (Minn.), the No. 4 Salisbury University softball team is guaranteed of at least two more days in Texas at the double-elimination NCAA Division III Softball Championship. The Sea Gulls will continue play in the event on Friday, taking on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater beginning at 5 p.m., eastern time.
Follow the game
Click here for live video
Click here for live stats
How we got here
The Sea Gulls picked up a 1-0 victory against the University of St. Thomas on the opening day of the championship on Thursday. Salisbury got its lone run on a bases-loaded walk by sophomore Paige Knussman in the fourth inning, forcing home junior Rachel Johnson. Johnson, made her own run stand up, with the complete-game win in the circle.
How they got here
The Warhawks (38-11) won their first-round game, coming from a 6-1 deficit to do so. The University of Rochester scored three in the second inning and three more in the fourth, but Whitewater would come back with six runs, on four hits and an error, in the fifth to take the lead. The big shot during the inning was a two-run double by Samie Seamon, who was 4-for-4 in the game. Rochester tied the game in the sixth, but Morgan Krisch came up with the walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh.
Walking for a win and a diploma
Salisbury celebrated its win on Thursday thanks to a walk, but also celebrated its seniors. The squad was more than 1,300 miles from the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center as the Salisbury University graduates walked in their commencement ceremony. The graduating softball seniors held their own graduation event in Tyler, led by assistant coach, and Salisbury faculty member, Tom Stitcher. In full cap and gown, Angelia McDowell, Kathryn Larson, Molly Gigioli, Virginia Walther, assistant coaches Sarah Alpaugh, Nicole McClaskey, and Jess Stoltz the group had their chance to celebrate the culmination of their academic careers.
The Warhawks are one of the top power-hitting teams in the nation, ranking sixth in home runs per game (1.02) and 25th in slugging percentage (.510). Wisconsin-Whitewater has won seven of its last eight games coming into Friday.
The winner of Friday's game will be one of two unbeaten teams remaining in the field and will get a day off, as it awaits the winner of an elimination game late Saturday afternoon. The winner would play at 1 p.m., eastern time, on Sunday. The losing team will play the winner of today's Trine University/East Texas Baptist University contest on Saturday, beginning at 7:30 p.m., eastern time.