SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University softball team stretched its winning streak to five games, earning a doubleheader sweep of visiting Southern Virginia University on Saturday afternoon at Sea Gull Softball Stadium.
Game 1: Salisbury 17, Southern Virginia 2 (5 inn.)
The Knights struck first in the opener, getting a runner on base due to a Salisbury error before a two-run home run gave the visitors their only lead of the day.
The Sea Gulls retaliated with a pair of their own in the home half of the inning, beginning by loading the bases on walks by junior LeAnne Collins and freshman Brooke Yerger before senior Caitlin Lake was hit by a pitch.
Junior Annie Pietanza tied the game by driving a ball through the left side of the infield, scoring Collins and Yerger.
Salisbury loaded the bases with another walk, but Southern Virginia starting pitcher Megan Harmon got a comebacker to turn a double play and a grounder to get out of the inning with just the two runs surrendered.
Junior Rachael Milligan, Salisbury's starting pitcher, got the Knights in order in the second before the Sea Gulls took the lead for good.
Freshman Kaila Beach walked to open the bottom of the second and moved to third on an error and a groundout before coming home on a sharp-hit single by Collins through the right side. Lake followed with a single to center to bring home Collins after she stole second for a 4-2 lead.
After a pop out, freshman Mikayla Meehan opened the game up with a two-run single to center field and classmate Emily Allen drove the next pitch over the center field fence for a two-run home run and an 8-2 edge for Salisbury.
Milligan took over from there, with the first-inning home run the only hit she would allow over her three innings of work, retiring the final eight batters she faced, while striking out five. Sophomore Brooke Mizelle worked the final two innings, allowing just an infield hit and one walk while striking out three.
Salisbury pushed the game past the eight-run mark in the third inning with nine runs, including RBI hits from Lake, Trotter, Beach, and a two-run home run from Collins – her second round tripper this season.
Game 2: Salisbury 11, Southern Virginia 2 (5 inn.)
The Knights (9-17, 0-6 CAC) threatened again in the opening frame of the second game, loading the bases with one out, but Salisbury starting pitcher Shannon Powell got a bouncer back to her and started an inning-ending double play to get out of the frame unscathed.
Salisbury (14-12, 3-1 CAC) ensured Southern Virginia would not take a lead in the second game, putting up five runs in the first inning on five hits, sending 10 batters to the plate in the inning. Pietanza drove in the first run of the game for Salisbury, bringing home Yerger. Salisbury had five singles in the inning with Allen, Beach, and Yanarella also driving in runs.
The Knights got two runners into scoring position in the second inning and came up with a single up the middle to score both, but they were the only runs Powell would surrender, working four innings on her way to her fifth win of the year. Powell gave up five hits, but struck out three in the victory.
The Sea Gulls stretched the lead with two runs in the second and added three in the third when Beach and Yanarella went for back-to-back solo home runs to begin the inning with Salisbury taking a 10-2 lead. The shot for Beach was the first of her Sea Gull career.
Yanrella drove in the final run of the game in the bottom of the fourth and Mizelle came on for a quick fifth inning, retiring the Knights in order to end the sweep.
Collins, Lake, and Beach each had four hits in the doubleheader, while Yanarella drove in five and Yerger scored five times, reaching base in all five of her plate appearances on the day.
The Sea Gulls return to action on Sunday, April 2 hosting Frostburg State University in another CAC doubleheader. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.