NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The No. 7 Salisbury University softball team was defeated in its first game of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday at Christopher Newport University, falling to Frostburg State University, 4-0. But the Sea Gulls rebounded in the double-elimination event, coming back to defeat York College of Pennsylvania later in the day to stay in the hunt for the CAC title.
Game 1: Frostburg State 4, Salisbury 0
The third-seeded Bobcats would threaten first in the top of the second inning, loading the bases with one out against Salisbury starting pitcher Rachel Johnson with a walk, single to left field and hit batter. But the Sea Gull hurler got out of the jam, striking out Allison Short and Sam Gatton swinging to end the inning.
Salisbury put two runners of its own on, with two outs in the bottom of the second, as junior Annah Brittingham reached on an error and classmate Katie Sebbane was hit by a pitch. But Short got out of the inning, as Johnson lined a ball to the hole at shortstop; Megan Tracey was able to scoop up the hit, and throw out Brittingham at third base.
Frostburg would get on the board for a 2-0 lead in the third inning when Hannah Tavik led things off with a single through the left side before a pair of walks loaded the bases, and a wild pitch brought home Tavik for the first run. A single to center field pushed the lead to two runs.
In the bottom of the third, Salisbury threatened Short again, loading the bases on an infield hit by junior Paige Knussman, an error and a walk, but a fly out ended the chance.
Frostburg (18-10) added a run, on two hits off Brittingham, and pushed another across in the seventh to seal the win.
Johnson and Brittingham combined for 13 strikeouts in the contest, while Knussman and senior Angela Malgieri added hits for the Gulls.
Game 2: Salisbury 7, York 2
The Salisbury offense came to life in the elimination game against the Spartans (19-15) scoring seven runs in the first two innings.
A pair of York errors to begin the bottom of the first inning allowed the first run to score, and a fielder's choice that failed to record an out, put two runners on for Brittingham. The junior drilled the first offering she saw from Melissa Jurkiewicz for a three-run home run and the early 4-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, the lead grew when junior Rachel Spadin and classmate Kim Dorsey reached on singles through the left side. After a groundball erased Spadin, Knussman homered to center field, for a three-run shot, her sixth of the year.
The seven-run lead was good for Johnson who was perfect through the first three innings, not allowing a base runner until a leadoff single in the fourth by Katie Maloney.
Maloney was stranded, but the Spartans would get on the board with an unearned run in the fifth and added another in the seventh, but it was not enough as the Sea Gulls (24-5) stayed alive in the event, and advance to play on Friday.
Five different Sea Gulls had hits in the game, while Dorsey, Collins, and Knussman each scored twice. Johnson struck out eight and allowed six hits to grab her 16th win of the year.
The Sea Gulls return to action on Friday, April 17, taking on fourth-seeded University of Mary Washington in an elimination game beginning at 12 p.m. The winner of the game advances to a 2 p.m. meeting with either Frostburg State or top-seeded Christopher Newport.