SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 2 Salisbury University softball team opened play in the Salisbury University Tournament on Friday afternoon at the SU Softball Field, taking on Ursinus College in two games. The Sea Gulls scored 16 runs in the two contests, while allowing just two in picking up a pair of wins.
Game 1: Salisbury 7, Ursinus 1
The Sea Gulls took advantage of some mistakes by the Bears in the first inning to jump out to an early three-run lead with just one hit, and not getting the ball out of the infield. Freshman LeAnne Collins had the only hit of the inning, beating out a bunt intended to move up junior Kim Dorsey, who reached first on a leadoff walk. The throw to first got away on Collins' hit, and Dorsey was able to score from first for the 1-0 lead, and Collins ended up on third. The Salisbury freshman and junior Katie Sebbane would also score in the inning, to give the Gulls the 3-0 lead.
A pair of one-out hits in the second inning put Dorsey at third and Collins at second base, after she alertly advanced on the throw into the infield. Sebbane lifted a ball to right field, scoring Dorsey on the sacrifice to stake starting pitcher Rachel Johnson to the early 4-0 lead.
Johnson was on point in the contest, not allowing an Ursinus base runner until the fourth inning when the Bears got to the senior for a pair hits and scored their only run of the game. The two hits were all that Johnson would allow, walking two while striking out a dozen to earn her third win of the year.
The Sea Gulls would push across three more runs in the final two innings, with Dorsey driving home sophomore Caitlin Lake, and Collins pushing home junior Rachel Spadin, both on singles, in the sixth, and freshman Annie Pietanza scored on Lake's sacrifice fly in the seventh to cap the scoring.
Game 2: Salisbury 9, Ursinus 1 (5 inn.)
In the final game of the day, the Sea Gulls jumped ahead with another three-run first inning. Dorsey walked and moved to third on a wild pitch and a bunt before scoring on Sebbane's sacrifice fly.
Knussman striped a ball down the left field line for a double, and senior catcher Rebecca Hoey would go with a pitch up in the zone the opposite way for a two-run home run to right field. It was the first Sea Gull home run of the 2015 season, but would not be the last of the day.
The Bears (6-4) cut into the lead with a run against Salisbury starting pitcher Annah Brittingham in the top of the third, notching just one hit in the frame, but getting a bunt and sacrifice fly to score the run.
The hit was one of just five off the Salisbury junior during the outing, her second win of the season, as she walked one and struck out three.
The Sea Gull bats really came to life after the Bears' run, with a single run in the third on Knussman's RBI single to score Dorsey, and four runs coming home in the fourth. The highlight of the frame was Brittingham's first home run in a Sea Gull uniform, a one-out solo shot.
Brittingham also finished off the win in the bottom of the fifth, with a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring pinch runner Summer Paglianete to push the final lead to eight runs.
Dorsey and Collins paced the Salisbury offense on the day with four hits apiece, while Dorsey scored five times in the two games.
The Sea Gulls (5-1) will continue play in the event on Saturday, March 14, taking on Capital University and Rutgers University-Camden. The tournament, originally scheduled to be played primarily at the SU Softball Field, will be moved on Saturday to the Henry Parker Complex in Salisbury due to expected poor weather coming into the area overnight. The first two games of the day are scheduled for 10 a.m., with Salisbury slated to take the field at 12 p.m.
Check www.suseasgulls.com for any updates as they become available.