SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University softball team looks to punch its ticket to the Capital Athletic Conference championship series on Saturday, needing one win in two possible games against York College of Pennsylvania.
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With just the two teams advancing from yesterday's action, the Sea Gulls are in the driver's seat with the 2-0 record, needing to win just once to move on. If York wins the opening game, which begins at 10 a.m., the teams will turn around for a winner-take-all contest beginning around noon.
How We Got Here
Salisbury, the No. 2 seed in the tournament due to its 11-3 regular season, kept its recent hot run going, extending its winning streak to 12 games by first defeating the University of Mary Washington, 7-1, before topping the Spartans, 12-3 on Friday. Salisbury got a stellar pitching effort from Shannon Powell in the opener, allowing just the one run on five hits while striking out a pair. In the York victory, Brea Bishop and Sami Mumford each went 3-for-4 including coming up with a hit in seventh inning as the Sea Gulls had nine consecutive hits in an eight-run inning. Rachael Milligan went the distance for the win, giving up just seven hits.
How They Got Here
York earned the No. 3 seed in the CAC tournament with a 9-5 record in the regular season. The Spartans were able to get past Mary Washington in its first game on Friday, 6-0, with Ginger Lewis earning the complete game win, allowing just five hits while striking out 10. Ashley Werner led the team's 10-hit effort going 3-for-4 in the game with three runs driven in.
Scouting the Spartans
York is paced by Lewis, a sophomore, who has figured in 16 of the team's wins with 12 victories and four saves in her 27 appearances in 2018. Lewis has struck out a CAC-best 167 batters in her 139 innings pitched this season while walking only 39. She sports a 2.42 ERA this year. Offensively, York ranks third in the CAC in scoring, led by Savannah Galati's .390 batting average while freshman Ashley Meekins is tied for the league lead with seven home runs.
Knight Picks Up 800th
With Salisbury's first win on Friday, Head Coach Margie Knight earned her 800th career victory. She becomes just the 13th Division III coach to reach the mark and with a 801-192-2 career record her 80.7 career winning percentage ranks fourth among all Division III coaches.
Let's Go Streaking
While the Sea Gulls have won 12 games in a row, a number of players have been key to that run on the offensive end with streaks of their own. Entering play on Saturday, Annie Pietanza is carrying a 15-game hitting streak into play while LeAnne Collins has hit safely in 13 consecutive games. The Sea Gulls also have three streaks of reaching base which have hit double digits with Pietanza reaching safely in her last 18 games, while Collins has reached in 16 straight and Dakotah Fraley has been on in her last 11 games.
The advancing team will move on to a best-of-three series next weekend against the winner out of the three-team pod scheduled to be completed on Saturday at Christopher Newport University. CNU, the CAC's top-seeded team in the tournament, was undefeated on Friday and needs just one win against Frostburg State University on Saturday to advance. If Christopher Newport advances, the Captains would host next weekend's series with the first game on Friday, May 4 and the second and possible third games being played on Saturday. If the Bobcats advance from Newport News, Salisbury or York would host next weekend.