SALEM, Va. – Facing two outs and two strikes with the game on the line, the fourth-ranked Salisbury University softball team used a bit of magic to prevail 6-5 in nine innings over the Millikin Big Blue to open the 2022 NCAA Softball Championships in Salem, Va. on Thursday.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Millikin got on the board first in the top of the first with an RBI single by Grace Biondo to score Kendallyn Davison.
- A successful double steal doubled Millikin's lead in the second inning.
- Millikin looked to add more insurance in the top of the third on a double by Camryn Skundberg but a great throw in the outfield by Abby Mace, a relay by Natalie Paoli and a tag by Emily Stockman cut down the runner at the plate to keep the game 2-0.
- Mace led off the third inning with a solo bomb over the left-field fence to cut the deficit in half, 2-1.
- Like Mace in the third, Stockman led off the fourth inning with s solo dinger to left to tie the game at two.
- Later in the fourth, Mace stole third and scored on an errant throw by the Millikin catcher. Two batters later, Meghan Reed doubled off the top of the left-field fence to score Lindsey Windsor and give the Sea Gulls the 4-2 lead.
- The lead wouldn't hold however with back-to-back RBIs by Biondo and Skundberg in the fifth to tie the game at four.
- After four scoreless frames, Millikin took the 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth on an RBI single to left field by Cassie Reed.
- Facing two strikes and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Reed roped a single to center to put the tying run on base.
- Also facing two strikes, Lauren Meyers smacked a single to left that got past the Millikin left fielder that allowed Madi Lemon to score from first to tie the game.
- Maddison Lednum sent the Sea Gulls to the winner's bracket with a double to right-center field to score Emily Challender and give the maroon and gold the 6-5 win over the Big Blue.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Abby Mace hit her 17th home run of the season to put her second on the career home run list with 35, passing Kim Dorsey.
- Maddison Lednum led all hitters with a 3-for-5 at the plate with a walk-off RBI double in the ninth.
- Lindsey Windsor, Carly Galbraith and Meghan Reed each collected a pair of hits.
- Emily Stockman hit her third home run of the season and second of the postseason in the fourth inning.
- Savannah Sheats picked up her 17th victory over the season in relief of Windsor. Sheats pitched four innings with a strikeout.
MILLIKIN GAME NOTES
- Kendallyn Davison tallied two hits and two runs scored.
- Camryn Skundberg also recorded a pair of hits for the Big Blue.
- Addison Sargent took the loss in 5.1 innings of relief. Sargent allowed four runs (one earned) with four strikeouts.
- Salisbury will play the winner of the Trine/Eastern Conn. St. game on Friday.
- The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.
- Stay tuned to SUSeaGulls.com and @SUSeaGulls on social media for any game time changes.
Salisbury University is a proud member of NCAA Division III with primary membership in the Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference, along with the New Jersey Athletic Conference for football and the Metropolitan Swimming and Diving Conference for men's and women's swimming. With over 500 student-athletes in 21 varsity sports, SU is recognized as one of the most competitive intercollegiate athletics programs regardless of division, and dedicated coaches and staff that foster excellence on-and-off the field. The Sea Gulls have celebrated 22 team national championships, 24 individual national champions, 189 conference championships and 41 Academic All-Americans.
To learn more about the tradition of excellence with Sea Gull Athletics, visit www.SUSeaGulls.com or on social media @SUSeaGulls.