SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University softball team collected a doubleheader sweep in the team's final non-conference contest for the next month, topping Stevenson University by scores of 16-0 and 7-1 on Wednesday afternoon at Sea Gull Softball Stadium.
Game 1: Salisbury 16, Stevenson 0 (5 inn.)
The Sea Gulls got going early in the opener. After starting pitcher Rachael Milligan kept the Mustangs off the board in the top of the first, spoiling a leadoff double, Salisbury rattled off three hits and scored four in the home half of the inning.
Junior LeAnne Collins got things going with a sharply-hit single to left field on the first pitch she saw from Stevenson starting pitcher Kaitlin Geary. A pair of outs moved Collins to third before a shot off the bat of junior Annie Pietanza just missed a home run in right field.
Pietanza stopped at third with a run-scoring triple, but the bats were not done. Freshman Mikayla Meehan drew a walk before classmate Emily Allen blasted her fourth home run of the season, turning on a 2-and-1 offering from Geary for a no-doubt shot to left field and a four-run lead.
Milligan would find another jam in the second, with two walks to begin the inning, but she stranded the two runners before Salisbury kept the offense going in its half of the frame.
Collins drove in Kaila Beach with a one-out single up the middle and Collins scored on a triple off the bat of freshman Brooke Yerger to push the lead to 6-0. Pietanza then hit a chopper through the left side that sent Yerger in for a seven-run cushion.
Milligan would allow at least one base runner for the Mustangs in each inning, but would escape every jam. She recorded six strikeouts while surrendering three hits over her five innings to collect the victory – her fifth of the season.
Courtney Tate's solo home run – her second of the year – pushed Salisbury's lead to eight in the third inning and a Stevenson error allowed four more runs to come home. Four more runs for Salisbury in the fourth put the game away.
Collins, Yerger, Lake, and Pietanza each had two hits to lead the Salisbury offense in the opener.
Game 2: Salisbury 7, Stevenson 1
In the second contest, Stevenson got another early chance, putting runners at the corners with no outs, and took advantage scoring once. However, a stellar diving play by Pietanza at second, on a grounder to her left, ended the inning stranding a runner at third.
The Mustangs stranded two runners in scoring position in the second when Beach, at shortstop, made a play on a slow roller up the middle and fired across the diamond to get the third out of the inning.
Salisbury (12-12) made its move against Stevenson starting pitcher Morghan Fulton in the home half of the third inning with five hits to score four times. Yanarella began the frame with a one-out single to right field before a groundout moved her to second with two down.
The game tied on Yerger's hard shot up the middle and Salisbury was good for three more runs. After a single from Lake, Pietanza carried a ball just over the head of center fielder Haley Lennon for a two-run double.
Meehan's single up the middle brought home Pietanza to cap the scoring in the inning giving Salisbury starting pitcher Shannon Powell a 4-1 lead.
Powell held the Mustangs scoreless the rest of the way, with just three Mustangs reaching base the rest of the way, only one by a hit. Powell went the distance for her third win of the year, scattering six hits, while walking none and striking out a pair.
Salisbury added three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, on one hit – a bases-clearing double by Lake, capping a 6-for-8 day at the plate for the senior.
Lake drove in four runs in the doubleheader, while scoring once.
Salisbury gets into Capital Athletic Conference play over the next month beginning on Saturday, April 1 with a doubleheader against Southern Virginia University. The Sea Gulls host the Knights at Sea Gull Softball Stadium beginning at 1 p.m.