SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 11 Salisbury University softball team rolled to two run-rule victories on Friday afternoon against Capital University on the opening day of the Sea Gull Classic, marking five-straight wins for the Sea Gulls which have not gone a full seven innings.
Salisbury 10, Capital 1 (6 inn.)
The Salisbury offense made Capital starting pitcher Bree Kilgus work from the start in the first game, threatening early and scoring often. In the first inning, sophomore LeAnne Collins and senior Molly Simpson each ripped base hits to begin the inning, but Kilgus was able to escape what became a bases-loaded jam with just one out. The Crusader starter was only able to hold off the Sea Gull bats for so long.
In the bottom of the second, the Sea Gulls broke through for the game's first run, with sophomore Annie Pietanza drilling the first pitch of the inning off the fence in right field for a lead-off double. She advanced to third on a bunt, before scoring when Collins legged out an infield single with two outs in the frame for the 1-0 lead.
Senior Annah Brittingham kept the Capital hitters quiet, making the one-run lead hold up until Salisbury could score insurance runs in the fourth inning. Brittingham allowed just three base runners in the first four innings, going the distance for her third win of the season in the circle, striking out six.
Salisbury took advantage of a pair of two-out Capital miscues in the bottom of the fourth. Collins and Simpson each reached on errors before senior Paige Knussman drilled her fourth home run of the season to left field.
The Crusaders cut into the Salisbury lead with one unearned run in the fifth inning, making it 4-1, but Salisbury got the run back in the bottom of the inning on freshman Megan Buonpane's first career RBI, sending classmate Amelia Trotter home.
Senior Kim Dorsey closed out the game in the bottom of the sixth, drilling her second home run of the year, a grand slam, to end the game.
Collins went 3-for-4 in the contest, while four Sea Gulls collected two hits each. Knussman drove in four runs in the game, giving her 156 in her career, which pulled her into a tie with Michelle Gravdahl (2010-13) for fourth in Salisbury history.
Salisbury 13, Capital 1 (5 inn.)
The Sea Gulls got the bats going early in the second game of the day, scoring two runs in both the first and second innings, and opening the game up with four runs in the third.
In the top of the first, with Salisbury playing as the visitor, the Sea Gulls (8-3) took advantage of a pair of Capital errors, with Collins and Brittingham scoring in the inning, and senior Katie Sebbane knocking in a run.
The lead doubled in the second when Collins walked and, with two outs, Simpson drilled her third home run of the year for the 4-0 lead.
Capital (4-6) got its only run of the game off freshman starter Brooke Mizelle in the bottom of the second, getting just a solo home run from Katie Hurst.
It was one of just three hits surrendered by Mizelle, who worked four innings and struck out three to pick up her fifth win of the season.
The Sea Gulls added four runs in the third with four different Sea Gulls driving in runs and the 8-1 lead held until the fifth when Simpson drove in her fourth run of the game and Dorsey came through with her second grand slam of the day, pushing the lead to 13-1.
Pietanza came on in the bottom of the fifth inning, in relief of Mizelle, closing the door on the victory, Salisbury's sixth in a row.
The Sea Gulls were helped by stellar defense in the doubleheader, with Simpson coming up with a diving stop at second base, Dorsey making a sliding catch on a pop-up in foul ground with her back to home plate and Collins coming up with a cannon throw from right field on a fly ball, gunning down a runner trying to advance to third.
Salisbury continues play in the Sea Gull Classic on Saturday, hosting the State University of New York at New Paltz for a pair of games, beginning at 10 a.m., at the SU Softball Field.