SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University softball team began play in the Salisbury Invitational sponsored by the Optimist Club of Salisbury on Saturday with a split against the University of Rochester on Saturday at Sea Gull Softball Stadium.
Game 1: Rochester 9, Salisbury 5
Salisbury rallied in the opener, trailing at one time by two runs, but saw a late offensive burst give the Yellowjackets the win.
The Sea Gulls scored in the first inning when freshman Madeira Alexander drove a double to right-center field, scoring Annie Pietanza from second base and LeAnne Collins drove home Emily Allen in the fourth inning for the 2-0 lead.
The advantage held through the first four innings of the game, but Rochester got to Salisbury starter Shannon Powell in the fifth, scoring four times with the big shot a ball through the left side, plating three.
Salisbury responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a solo home run from Allen and a run-scoring double from Collins, tying the game at 4-4, but the Yellow Jackets plated five in the top of the seventh to put the game out of reach despite another run by Salisbury in the bottom of the inning.
Alexander was 3-for-4 in the game while Kaila Beach, Allen, and Collins and each had two hits.
Game 2: Salisbury 15, Rochester 1 (5 inn.)
Playing as the visitor in the second game, Salisbury began the contest with three straight hits, scoring the game's first run on a double by Pietanza down the right field line.
After nearly escaping the inning with just the one run allowed, Rochester starting pitcher Elizabeth Bourne saw Emily Allen drive a ball to center field bringing home Dakotah Fraley and Pietanza for the 3-0 lead.
The Sea Gulls added to the lead in the second inning, scoring four times on three hits with Alexander turning on a pitch up in the zone for a blast to left field high off the netting beyond the left field fence for her first collegiate home run, a two-run shot as Salisbury went ahead 7-0.
Senior pitcher Rachael Milligan made the three runs stand up, going the distance and coming up just a few inches shy of her first career no-hitter. Milligan scattered three walks as the only base runners of the first four innings, and with two outs in the fifth inning, Sammi Re, the ninth hitter in the Rochester order hit a chopper to third baseman Amelia Trotter, who fielded the ball cleanly and fired to Kristen Yanarella at first, resulting in a bang-bang play with Re's speed resulting in a base hit. One more hit, bringing home an unearned run, finished off the scoring as Milligan finished the game with a groundout, striking out three in her first win of the year.
Pietanza was 4-for-4 for the Sea Gulls, scoring three times and driving home four runs, while Cat Ramagnano had three hits and Collins, Fraley, Alexander, and Allen each had a pair.
The Sea Gulls complete the event on Sunday, March 11, hosting Immaculata University in a doubleheader beginning at 10 a.m. Rochester will take on Lynchburg College in a twinbill at the Henry Parker Complex, also beginning at 10 a.m.