SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 11 Salisbury University softball team kept rolling on Saturday, picking up a pair of wins against the State University of New York at New Paltz at the SU Softball Field on the second day of the Sea Gull Classic.
Salisbury 3, New Paltz 0
Senior Annah Brittingham led Salisbury to the victory in the first game, with one of her best pitching games of the young season, allowing just three hits in 6 1/3 innings of work to earn her fourth win of the year.
Salisbury started the scoring in the bottom of the second when senior Kim Dorsey dropped a single into center field and advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. Sophomore designated player Annie Pietanza came up and drilled a single through the left side. Dorsey held at third, but the throw to the plate ahead of her, sailed over the catcher's head, allowing the run to score for the 1-0 lead.
After a walk and another bunt, sophomore LeAnne Collins ripped a ball up the middle, scoring Pietanza to push the lead to two runs.
Brittingham helped her own cause in the bottom of the third, turning on a 1-and-0 pitch for a solo home run to left-center field, her second of the year, pushing the lead to 3-0.
The Hawks got their first base runner when Julia Perhacs led off the top of the fourth inning with a bunt single. Brittingham would surrender a walk, as well, in the inning, but they would be two of just five base runners to get aboard against Brittingham.
The Hawks threatened in the seventh inning, loading the bases before the Sea Gulls finished things off. Brittingham surrendered a single to open the inning, and Pietanza came on in relief, getting two outs, including a stellar diving play by senior Molly Simpson at second base. But New Paltz came up with another single and a hit batter to load the bases. Brittingham re-entered the circle and got to a full count against pinch hitter Katie Rutcofsky. Brittingham buried a pitch down and in, which Rutcofsky swung over, ending the game.
Salisbury 9, New Paltz 2
The second game remained close until the Sea Gulls opened things up in the late innings.
Salisbury (10-3), playing as the visiting team, grabbed the early lead in the second game, scoring the first run in the top of the second inning. Dorsey opened the inning getting hit by a pitch and moved up on a sacrifice bunt before starting pitcher Brooke Mizelle stepped to the plate and drilled a double off the fence in left field, missing a home run by just two feet, but driving home Dorsey on the play for the 1-0 lead.
Mizelle kept the Hawks (1-3) in check throughout the contest, and the 1-0 lead held until Knussman drilled her fifth home run of the year. The first pitch she saw in the top of the fifth, after Simpson opened the inning with a single, was lifted to centerfield, where it bounced on the top of the fence and out for the two-run shot.
After a couple of singles and a walk loaded the bases, the Sea Gulls brought in one more run in the inning on Pietanza's pinch hit sacrifice fly, scoring Dorsey for the 4-0 lead.
Salisbury posted five runs in the seventh, highlighted by Dorsey's two-run single to right field, with two outs. The Sea Gulls put up four hits in the inning.
Dorsey finished the day 3-for-6, scoring three times and driving in the pair, while Brittingham put up five hits, including a 4-for-5 effort in the second game.
Mizelle worked through the first six innings of the second game, striking out eight batters, and giving up just five hits. Freshman Shannon Powell came on in the seventh, giving up a pair of hits and two New Paltz runs while striking out two, before Mizelle came back on and got a ground out to end the game.
Mizelle lowered her team-leading ERA to 1.79 in the victory, as she improved to 6-1 on the year.
Salisbury closes out its six-game weekend on Sunday, March 13 hosting Lynchburg College in a doubleheader slated to begin at noon at the SU Softball Field.