SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 5 Salisbury University softball team put itself in the driver's seat to host the Capital Athletic Conference tournament next week thanks to a doubleheader sweep of the University of Mary Washington on Saturday at the SU Softball Field.
Game 1: Salisbury 12, Mary Washington 1 (5 inn.)
Salisbury scored more than enough in the first two innings of the opener to secure the win, plating two in the first and adding eight more in the second inning.
Sophomore LeAnne Collins opened the bottom of the first with a walk and moved up on an illegal pitch before coming around on an error with two outs. Senior Annah Brittingham's chopper up the middle looked like the third out, but the throw across the diamond sailed high and out of play, allowing Collins to score for the 1-0 lead.
The Eagles got the first two outs quickly in the bottom of the second, but after another Collins walk, a two-out error opened the floodgates for the Sea Gulls.
Molly Simpson's grounder to third led to the miscue, keeping the inning alive and Salisbury came up with six hits after that, scoring the eight runs.
The two big shots in the inning came off the bats of Sebbane and junior Caitlin Lake. Sebbane drilled a three-run double down the left field line and a few batters later Lake's shot through the left side brought home a pair of runs.
The 10-0 cushion was plenty for Brittingham, who worked five no-hit innings in the victory. She pitched the first three innings, allowing just two walks in that time before giving way to sophomore Annie Pietanza. Brittingham re-entered the game in the fourth inning with no outs, recording the next six outs to finish off her 13th win of the year.
Knussman, Brittingham, Sebbane and Pietanza each had two hits in the game while Sebbane drove in four runs in the win.
Game 2: Salisbury 10, Mary Washington 1 (5 inn.)
Mary Washington (11-27, 6-8 CAC) threatened in the first inning of the second game, starting with a single from Stefannie Asselanis, but she was thrown out trying to steal second when Dorsey took a high throw at the bag and made an athletic play to apply the tag.
The Eagles loaded the bases later in the inning with a hit batter, a single, and a Salisbury error, but starting pitcher Brooke Mizelle ended the threat by getting a pop out to strand the three runners.
The Sea Gulls again got the offense going early, scoring eight times in the first three innings of play in the second game to complete the sweep. Salisbury (29-4, 11-1 CAC) got four hits in the first inning, leading to five runs, with a Simpson triple and a Sebbane double each scoring one in the frame.
A triple from Knussman scored the first of two runs in the second inning, and three extra-base hits in the third sent home three more runs, including Simpson's Division III-leading 12th home run of the year.
Salisbury had six extra-base hits in the game, including three triples. Simpson was 3-for-3 with three runs scored and a pair driven in while Knussman and Sebbane each had a pair of hits.
Mizelle worked four innings, allowing five hits and walking one to pick up her 16th win of the year, with freshman Shannon Powell giving up only a walk in the fifth inning as she closed out the win.
Salisbury heads west to Frostburg State University on Sunday, April 17 for each team's CAC regular-season finale. With at least one win in the doubleheader, the Sea Gulls would claim the top seed in the CAC tournament and host the three-day event beginning on Thursday, April 21.