CARY, N.C. – The Salisbury University softball team split a pair of contests in its first day of action for the 2017 season, falling to Maryville (Tenn.) College, 3-1, and picking up a 13-5 win against Hood College at the Grand Slam Triangle Classic.
Maryville 3, Salisbury 1
In the season opener, the Sea Gulls found themselves in a 3-0 hole through three innings, with the Scots (9-3) scoring two in the second, on a Morgan Brewer home run, before a double and a groundout brought the third run across an inning later.
Salisbury was unable to get a base runner against Maryville pitcher Casey Joliff until a leadoff single from junior Annie Pietanza in the fifth. After a walk, the Scots turned a double play, leaving the Sea Gulls with two outs and Kaylee Hahn at second base. Sophomore Amelia Trotter came up with a double to score Hahn, cutting the lead to 3-1, but that is how the game would end, with Salisbury getting just one more base runner, that coming on a Maryville error.
Joliff earned her first win of the season, going the distance while allowing just two hits and striking out three.
Sophomore Brooke Mizelle took the loss for the Sea Gulls, surrendering three runs while striking out five and walking none.
Salisbury 13, Hood 5 (6 inn.)
In the second game of the day for Salisbury (1-1) the Sea Gulls came from behind for the win, scoring nine runs in the final two innings.
Salisbury got a run in the first on a Pietanza sacrifice fly and answered Hood's two-run second with three runs in the home half of the inning. Junior LeAnne Collins doubled and classmate Kristen Yanarella singled as the two hits brought three runs around for a 4-2 lead.
The Blazers (1-1) took the lead with three runs in the fifth, but the Salisbury offense exploded for seven runs in the fifth inning as sophomore Courtney Tate blasted a grand slam and senior Caitlin Lake followed up with a two-run shot – the first two home runs of the year for the Gulls.
The Sea Gulls pushed the game to the eight-run limit in the bottom of the sixth finishing the game with RBI singles from freshman Emily Allen and Trotter.
Tate, Allen, Collins, and Yanarella each had two hits for the Sea Gulls in the win.
Junior Rachael Milligan picked up the win for Salisbury in relief, coming on in the fifth inning to end the Hood rally, and setting up the Salisbury victory. Milligan went 1 1/3 hitless innings to get her first win in maroon and gold.
The Sea Gulls will play two more games in the event on Sunday, February 26, taking on Olivet College at 9 a.m., and William Peace University at 1 p.m.