SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 5 Salisbury University softball team opened play in the 2016 Capital Athletic Conference softball tournament with a 6-0 win against the University of Mary Washington on Thursday afternoon at the SU Softball Field.
Neither team scored in the first inning, but the top-seeded Sea Gulls brought home four runs in the next two to open up the lead.
The first run came across in the second inning when senior Annah Brittingham sent a single to centerfield and stole second base. With one out, classmate Katie Sebbane drove a pitch between the shortstop and third base. Mary Washington third baseman Malia Rogers laid out for the ball, and saw it tip off her glove, tricking into shallow left-center field, which allowed Brittingham to scamper home for the 1-0 lead.
Salisbury (32-4) extended the lead in bottom of the third inning with junior Caitlin Lake reaching in a single up the middle and sophomore LeAnne Collins notching a bunt single, putting two on for senior Molly Simpson. Simpson turned on a pitch up in the zone, driving the ball out to left field for a three-run home run, her Division III-leading 13th of the year.
Brittingham, who got the start in the circle, worked four stellar innings to collect her 15th win of the year, giving up just two hits and walking two while striking out nine Eagles (13-29). Freshman Brooke Mizelle worked the last three frames, not allowing a hit while walking two and striking out four to earn her second save.
Salisbury added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth with Knussman doubling on a shot that ricocheted off the Rogers at third, scoring Lake, and Brittingham's double to left plated Simpson for the final run of the game.
Nine different Sea Gulls had hits in the contest, led by Brittingham's 3-for-4 effort while Lake and Simpson each went 2-for-3.
Emily Briggs and Emma Rakowski each had a hit to lead the fifth-seeded Eagles while Courtney Merson went the distance in the circle, taking the loss.
With the win, Salisbury will play in the first game on Friday, April 22, beginning at 10 a.m., taking on second-seeded Christopher Newport University, which earned a 4-3 win against third-seeded Frostburg State University. The Salisbury/Christopher Newport winner will advance to the CAC championship game on Saturday, April 23.