Softball splits with No. 19 Lynchburg to begin weekend

Softball splits with No. 19 Lynchburg to begin weekend

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University softball team split its doubleheader against No. 19 Lynchburg College on Friday afternoon at Sea Gull Softball Stadium, coming from behind to claim the opener 6-5 before falling in the nightcap, 11-4.

Game 1: Salisbury 6, Lynchburg 5

The Sea Gulls came back twice in the opening game of the doubleheader, scoring twice in the bottom of the third inning to tie the game they had trailed 2-0. After freshman Sami Mumford singled on a bunt just in front of home plate, senior LeAnne Collins drove a 0-and-1 pitch over the fence in right-center field for a two-run home run, her second round tripper of the year, squaring the game.

The Hornets put up three in the top of the fifth, but Salisbury was able to answer, putting together six hits which led to four runs and a 6-5 lead. The rally started with Mumford at second and two outs as sophomore Dakotah Fraley hit a screaming grounder up the middle, which went off the glove of the diving second baseman, allowing Mumford to score, but Fraley alertly stretched the play into a double, with the outfielders slow to recover the ball.

Senior Annie Pietanza traded placed with Fraley and Madeira Alexander drove home a run before Kristen Yanarella's ball off the end of the bat led to an infield single scoring the go-ahead run for a 6-5 advantage.

The one-run lead was protected by sophomore Alexis Layton, who entered the game in relief in the top of the fifth inning, and went 2 1/3 innings, giving up just one hit and striking out one to earn her third win of the year.

Alexander, Mumford, and catcher Emily Allen each had a pair of hits in the victory.

Game 2: Lynchburg 11, Salisbury 4

After giving up a first-inning run, the Sea Gulls (8-2) responded with two in the home half of the inning. Collins and Pietanza singled to begin the bottom of the first before Alexander walked with one out, loading the bases. Another walk, this time by Yanarella sent home the tying run before Allen hit into a double play, which resulted in the second Salisbury run.

The 2-1 lead was short lived, with the Hornets (9-1) scoring five times in the second. Salisbury scored single runs in the second and third, thanks to run-scoring singles from Collins and Yanarella, but 6-3 was as close as the Sea Gulls would be the rest of the day.

Pietanza recorded three hits in the game, with Salisbury getting 10 as a team. Collins, Alexander and Yanarella each had two hits with Yanarella driving in two runs. The senior has batted 11-for-15 over her past six games to bring her batting average up to .581 along with a team-high 15 RBI.

The Sea Gulls open play in the Salisbury University Invitational sponsored by the Optimist Club of Salisbury on Saturday, March 10, hosting the University of Rochester at Sea Gull Softball Stadium in a doubleheader that is slated to begin at noon. Lynchburg and Immaculata University, face each other in a doubleheader that will be played at the Henry Parker Complex in Salisbury.

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