SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 9 Salisbury University softball team finished out the home portion of the regular-season schedule with a doubleheader sweep of Washington (Md.) College at the SU Softball Field on Thursday afternoon.
Game 1: Salisbury 8, Washington 0 (5 inn.)
Salisbury senior pitcher Rachel Johnson needed little offensive help in the first contest of the day, as she went the distance in the victory, allowing just one base runner, while striking out seven. Johnson improved to 19-5 with the victory.
The Sea Gulls got the offense started in the bottom of the first, when leadoff hitter junior Kim Dorsey lifted a ball to left field that carried out for her team-leading eighth home run of the season and the 1-0 lead.
The blast is also the 23rd of her career, moving Dorsey into sole possession of ninth place on the all-time Salisbury list.
Sebbane would double the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. After Dorsey reached on a single to shallow right field, Sebbane connected on a no-doubt shot to left-center field, her fourth home run of the season, for a 4-0 Sea Gull advantage.
The lead was plenty for Johnson, who retired the final six Shorewomen in order, with a little help from the Salisbury defense. The first batter of the top of the fifth inning, Christine Anderson hit a low liner down the third-base line, just in foul territory, but Sebbane was there for the diving catch for the first out. On the next pitch, Kelsey Graham lifted a ball in foul ground the other way, but it was hauled in by Knussman at first base, with an over-the-shoulder catch. Johnson then set down Taylor Harcum on strikes to end the inning.
With the five-run lead, Salisbury entered its half of the fifth, needing three runs to end the first game. After singling and stealing second, junior Rachel Spadin reached third on a Dorsey single and came home two batters later on a Knussman single.
Brittingham then came to the plate and drove a double into left center to score Dorsey and Knussman to end the game for the Gulls.
Dorsey and Knussman led the team with three hits each, while Sebbane, Knussman, and Brittingham all notched two RBIs.
Game 2: Salisbury 11, Washington 3 (6 inn.)
The Sea Gulls got going in similar fashion to game one, with Dorsey leading of the game by launching the first pitch she saw over the left-field fence, beginning a game in which the long ball would prove vital to Salisbury's success.
Brittingham gave the Gulls a 2-0 lead to continue the first with her first home run of the day, driving the ball to the opposite field over the right-field fence for her fifth of the season.
Salisbury tacked on another run in the second inning, capitalizing on two Shorewomen errors for a 3-0 advantage.
Washington responded in the top of the third against Brittingham, who got the start, as Hannah Spohn collected two RBIs on a two-out single to get the Shorewomen to within one run of the lead.
They tied the game in the fourth on a single by Caitlyn Kirby. Johnson entered the game in relief after Kirby's hit to retire the next batter for the final out of the inning; she pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to earn her second win of the day and 20th of the season. Johnson allowed only one hit and struck out two.
It took Salisbury little time to regain the lead in its half of the fourth, as senior Angela Malgieri led off with a double over the centerfielder's head. After advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt by Spadin, Malgieri scored on a wild pitch to take the 4-3 lead.
Dorsey continued the inning with a single, before Sebbane found her pitch and blasted it over the left-field fence for her second home run in the two games.
Salisbury still had one more round-tripper in store, as senior Rebecca Hoey came to the plate with two on. Knussman walked, and Brittingham doubled down the left field line to put runners on second and third. Hoey then sent a moonshot out to center field for her sixth home run of the year to push the lead to 9-3 and cap a six-run inning.
Johnson used three fly balls to set down Washington in order in the fifth, but the Sea Gulls also went down one-two-three in their part of the inning to go into the sixth inning.
After two strikeouts to help retire the side, Johnson allowed Salisbury to return to the plate and look to end the game.
Knussman and Brittingham both singled to get the winning runs on base, and Hoey scored Knussman on a single off the third baseman's glove and through the left side.
Brittingham came home on the next play on a throwing error on the Shorewomen pitcher to complete the sweep.
Hoey led the team with four RBIs in the contest, while Brittingham collected three hits.
The Sea Gulls close out the regular season on the road on Sunday, April 26 traveling to Catholic University of America for a doubleheader. The twinbill is slated to begin at 1 p.m.