SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University softball team opened Capital Athletic Conference play with a doubleheader sweep of Penn State University-Harrisburg getting the big hit throughout Saturday afternoon at Sea Gull Softball Stadium.
Game 1: Salisbury 6, Penn St.-Harrisburg 0
The Sea Gulls opened the day's scoring in the second inning of the opening contest. After a single and a Harrisburg error put two runners on, a sacrifice bunt moved both into scoring position before Kira Konarski lifted a single to right field, scoring the two runners for a 2-0 lead.
The lead held up as Salisbury starting pitcher Shannon Powell kept the Lions off balance throughout the opener. The senior went the distance for her sixth win of the year, allowing just four hits and while walking one and striking out one and not letting a Penn St.-Harrisburg runner reach third base.
Salisbury opened up the lead in the sixth, scoring four runs. The first came on the first collegiate home run in the career of freshman Kendall Dixon while Jillian Jones came up later in the frame and added a three-run shot – her first collegiate homer – for the 6-0 lead, which Powell turned into the final tally.
Jones was 3-for-4 in the game while Dakotah Fraley was 2-for-4 as the pair accounted for half of Salisbury's 10 hits.
Game 2: Salisbury 5, Penn St.-Harrisburg 4 (9 inn.)
Salisbury (14-7, 2-0 CAC) was able to score the first run of the second game, getting Amelia Trotter to third base on a single, a bunt, and a fly out. With two outs, Cat Ramagnano hit a grounder to second base and was able to beat the throw at first, allowing Trotter to score.
The Lions (10-8-1, 0-2 CAC) were able to plate three runs in the third and took advantage of a pair of Salisbury errors to score an unearned run in the fifth inning.
Salisbury got back within a run in the home half of the fifth, when Jones went deep for the second time on the day – a two-run shot down the right field line – cutting the deficit to 4-3.
Facing the one-run deficit, Salisbury drew even in the bottom of the seventh inning. The leadoff batter, Fraley, drilled a triple to right-center field and as she slid into third base, the relay throw got past the base and into the Salisbury dugout, allowing Fraley to score, tying the game at 4-4.
The game remained square until the bottom of the ninth when Salisbury was able to push the winning run across. Fraley came up with an infield single to begin the inning and moved up on a Jones sacrifice bunt. After Emily Allen walked, Madeira Alexander ripped a line drive to Harrisburg third baseman Kaylee DiMatteo, who nearly caught Allen off first base for an inning-ending doubleplay. The throw did not result in an out, but Fraley was able to scamper to third with two outs. Kaleigh Edwards came up with the game-winning hit, dropping a single to left field for the 5-4 victory.
Powell picked up the win, coming on in relief in the contest, working the final five innings, allowing just four hits and striking out one.
Edwards and Jones finished with three hits each while Fraley, Allen, and Ramagnano each had two hits.
Salisbury continues league play on Wednesday, April 3, traveling to the University of Mary Washington for a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.