NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A seventh-inning comeback bid came up just short as the Salisbury University softball team got the potential tying run to the plate against Christopher Newport University in the Capital Athletic Conference championship, but could not bring across the needed rusn to draw even, falling 7-4.
Second-seeded Salisbury (26-6) came up with just three hits over the first six innings against Christopher Newport starting pitcher Krista Lewis. But with their backs against the wall, the Sea Gulls pounced, pushing four runs across in the top of the seventh inning, chasing Lewis from the game before Hanah Marshall was able to close out the contest.
Junior Katie Sebbane opened the seventh with a single to right-center field before Lewis recorded a pair of outs on balls hit to the outfield. With two outs, the Sea Gulls refused to give in, as Kim Dorsey beat out an infield single and freshman LeAnne Collins singled to load the bases.
One of Salisbury's top hitters for the week, junior Paige Knussman stepped to the plate and delivered on the second pitch she saw from Lewis, driving a three-run double to right-center field, getting Salisbury on the board, down 7-3. Knussman drove in 11 of Salisbury's 27 runs in the tournament, while batting .333 with a pair of home runs.
Junior Annah Brittingham stepped up and drilled a double to left, trading places with Knussman, making it a three-run game, 7-4, ending Lewis' day as CNU Head Coach Keith Parr called on Marshall.
Marshall walked the first batter she faced, Rebecca Hoey, to bring the tying run to the plate, but Marshall would get a strikeout to end the game, recording her second save of the year.
Salisbury had the opportunity to score in the first inning, getting two runners on with just one out, thanks to a Captain error and hit batter, but Lewis got a groundout to end the threat.
The Captains (27-7) got the scoring started in the home half of the first, bringing three runs across on four hits, and added four runs on three hits in the bottom of the third inning for all of their scoring in the game.
Christopher Newport would get just four hits off Brittingham, who came on in relief in the middle of the third inning and worked four innings in the circle.
Dorsey was 2-for-3 for Salisbury, as the only Gull with multiple hits in the contest. Salisbury put runners on base in four of the first six innings, but could not score until the flourish in the seventh inning.
Brittingham and Sebbane each went 5-for-14 in the tournament, for a team-high tying .357 batting average and Brittingham drove in nine runs.
Salisbury returns to action this Wednesday, April 22, hosting Washington (Md.) College in a doubleheader scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., as the Sea Gulls look to bolster their resume looking for an at-large bid into next month's NCAA tournament.