VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – In the first day of action in the Virginia Wesleyan Beach Blast, hosted by Virginia Wesleyan College, the Salisbury University softball team went 2-0 against Randolph-Macon College and North Carolina Wesleyan College. The Sea Gulls defeated the Yellow Jackets 2-0 before topping the Battling Bishops, 13-1, in just five innings of play.
Sophomore pitcher Rachel Johnson went all seven innings for the maroon and gold in game one, helping to keep the game scoreless up until the bottom of the fourth inning.
With two runners on, freshman third baseman Katie Sebbane singled, bringing in the game-winning run as senior center fielder Sarah Alpaugh touched home. Alpaugh then brought in a run of her own in the bottom of the fifth with a single that scored junior left fielder Angelia McDowell.
Sebbane went 2-for-5 on the day with one run scored and one RBI. Alpaugh matched Sebbane in the box with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Johnson sat down the final three Yellow Jackets to record 12 strikeouts with four walks and one hit.
Salisbury (4-0) would put on a hitting clinic against N.C. Wesleyan, scoring six runs, off six hits, in the top of the second inning. Freshman designated hitter Paige Knussman and senior second baseman Carly Read hit back-to-back singles that brought in SU's first two runs of the inning before McDowell reached first on a bunt single. Two more back-to-back singles, by junior first baseman Harley Hill and Alpaugh, brought in Read and McDowell. An error by the Battling Bishops brought in the final two runs of the inning to give SU a 6-0 lead.
The Sea Gulls would strike again in the top of the third inning, scoring seven runs off seven hits, as all runs were scored with bases loaded.
Senior Lindsay Brown stepped in as a pinch hitter and made the most of the moment, singling to left field, allowing classmate Lindsay McCabe to cross home. Senior catcher Michelle Gravdahl then stepped into the box with bases loaded and singled to shortstop, collecting an RBI. Gravdahl went 1-for-3 in the second game with one run scored and one RBI.
Up by nine and with two outs, senior shortstop Hannah Mills crushed a ball over the left field fence for a grand slam and her second home run of the season for the final four runs of the contest for the Sea Gulls.
Junior hurler Kathryn Larson earned the win, pitching four innings, with seven strikeouts while allowing just one hit before being relieved by freshman Meredith Blades. Blades finished with one strikeout, allowing one run scored on three hits.
Salisbury wraps up the event tomorrow against Neumann University and Methodist University. The Sea Gulls will first take on Neumann at noon and follow with the Monarchs at 4 p.m.