SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University softball team opened Capital Athletic Conference play with a doubleheader split against the University of Mary Washington on Saturday afternoon at Sea Gull Softball Stadium.
Game 1: Salisbury 4, Mary Washington 3
Salisbury took the early lead for starting pitcher Shannon Powell in the second inning getting an unearned run on a throwing error and Powell kept the lead intact until the Eagles scored twice in the fifth inning to take a 2-1 lead.
The one-run lead, which came about with four Mary Washington hits in the top of the fifth, lasted only half an inning, with the Sea Gulls squaring the game in the bottom of the fifth on a Dakotah Fraley single that scored LeAnne Collins with two outs in the inning.
After Salisbury grabbed a 3-2 lead in the sixth on a Mary Washington passed ball, the Eagles drew even again in the top of the seventh with an unearned run, but the Sea Gull bats came back in the home half for the team's second straight walk-off win.
Collins began the inning with a walk before an error put two runners on and a bunt moved them into scoring position. With one out, a Madeira Alexander ground ball to shortstop brought home Collins for the game-winning run.
Salisbury finished with five hits in the game, three of which came off the bat of freshman Sami Mumford.
Powell earned the win, giving up six hits over the seven innings, while striking out a career-high-tying six.
Game 2: Mary Washington 5, Salisbury 2
Fraley got the scoring started quickly for the Sea Gulls (14-8, 1-1 CAC) in the second game, connecting for her fourth home run of the season in the bottom of the first inning. After Collins opened the inning with a double to center field, Fraley turned on a 2-and-1 offering from Mary Washington starter Megan Hibbs for a no-doubt shot to left field.
The 2-0 scored remained into the sixth inning with neither team scoring and just two runners reaching scoring position until the bottom of the fifth off Hibbs and Salisbury starting pitcher Rachael Milligan.
In the bottom of the fifth, Salisbury threatened to extend its lead, getting two-out singles from Annie Pietanza and Alexander, but Mary Washington reliever Jamie Purtell got a groundout to end the threat stranding the pair.
The Eagles (12-14, 1-1 CAC) drew even in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs – only one of which was earned – off Milligan, before scoring three more in the top of the seventh against the Salisbury bullpen to put the game out of reach.
Milligan struck out a career-high eight batters in the contest, working six innings in the circle. Alexander led the offensive effort with a 3-for-4 game while Mumford continued her hot streak, going 2-for-2, and she is now batting .500 in her last 10 games.
The Sea Gulls will play away from home for the next 10 games, eight of which are CAC contests, beginning with a doubleheader on Wednesday, April 4 at No. 7 Christopher Newport University.