Softball claims CAC regular-season championship with doubleheader sweep at Frostburg; Sea Gulls will host CAC tournament

Softball claims CAC regular-season championship with doubleheader sweep at Frostburg; Sea Gulls will host CAC tournament

FROSTBURG, Md. – The No. 5 Salisbury University softball team closed out the regular season in style, notching a doubleheader sweep of Frostburg State University on Sunday afternoon to earn the regular-season Capital Athletic Conference championship and the top seed in next week's conference tournament.

Game 1: Salisbury 5, Frostburg St. 1

The Sea Gulls secured the top seed in the CAC tournament with a 5-1 win in the opening game of the doubleheader, scoring three times in the top of the third inning before turning the lead over to starting pitcher Annah Brittingham.

Each team put one runner on during the first two innings of the game, but neither would advance past second base before Salisbury put together the three runs on just two hits, taking advantage of a walk and a hit batter, to take the lead with a two-out rally.

After the first two batters were retired in the frame by Frostburg State starter Allison Short, the Sea Gulls got things going with a double from sophomore LeAnne Collins down the right field line. Following a walk and a wild pitch, senior Paige Knussman drove a double to left field, to bring home the game's first two runs. A walk and a hit batter loaded the bases before Short plunked Katie Sebbane for the senior's 16th time being hit by a pitch this year, which ranks in the top 10 nationally, driving in a run for the 3-0 lead.

Salisbury added a run to the advantage in the fifth on a grounder by Sebbane which brought home Brittingham for the four-run lead.

The Bobcats threatened Brittingham in the fifth, with a pair of singles, but neither runner reached third base.

Frostburg got its only run of the day in the bottom of the sixth inning, striking for three hits, as Jessica Dubbs started the inning with a single and move up on a wild pitch and groundout before scoring on a one-out single. The Bobcats loaded the bases later in the inning, but would not push another run across.

Brittingham scattered six hits in the win while striking out a half dozen, as well.

Sebbane drove in her third run of the game in the top of the seventh inning, with a single to center field to cap the scoring.

Knussman was the only player in the game to finish with multiple hits, going 2-for-3 while scoring twice and driving in a pair as Salisbury had five hits in the game.

Game 2: Salisbury 9, Frostburg St. 0 (6 inn.)

In the nightcap, the Salisbury bats came to life with 13 hits, beginning with two hits in the first inning, leading to a Brittingham run-scoring double down the left-field line scoring senior Molly Simpson.

Another two hits in the top of the third inning doubled the lead, with Brittingham's groundout bringing home Simpson.

Three runs in the fourth inning gave the Sea Gulls (31-4, 13-1 CAC) full control of the game, with junior Caitlin Lake connecting on her third home run of the year – a two-run shot – before Knussman drove in Collins with a double to left field.

Freshman pitcher Brooke Mizelle made the 5-0 lead stand up as she went the distance in the contest for her fourth solo shutout of the year, surrendering just three hits while striking out six Bobcats (24-12, 9-5 CAC).

Salisbury scored a single run in the fifth, as Sebbane drove in Dorsey after a triple, and three more in the sixth, highlighted by Dorsey's two-run single.

Simpson and Dorsey each had three hits in the game, while Simpson had a pair of doubles. Knussman, Brittingham, Lake, and Dorsey each drove in a pair of runs.

As the top seed in the CAC tournament, the Sea Gulls will host the three-day event beginning on Thursday, April 21. The Sea Gulls will play their first game in the event at 2 p.m., against the winner of the day's first game between fifth-seeded University of Mary Washington and fourth-seeded York College of Pennsylvania.

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