CARY, N.C. – The Salisbury University softball team split two games on its second and final day at the Grand Slam Triangle Classic, hosted by William Peace University. The Sea Gulls saw an offensive outburst in the opener of the day, topping Olivet College, 17-7, before falling in a pitchers' duel, 3-2, to the hosts from William Peace.
Salisbury 17, Olivet 7 (5 inn.)
The Sea Gulls began the day on a high note with a five-inning victory with six different players registering multi-hit games.
Annie Pietanza opened the scoring in the top of the first inning with a two-run home run and four more runs came across in the second as Salisbury had four hits in the frame. LeAnne Collins and Kristen Yanarella each drove in a pair of runs in the frame as Salisbury opened up a 6-0 lead.
The Comets came up with all seven of their runs on seven hits and a Sea Gull error in the bottom of the second to take the lead momentarily.
But Salisbury, which scored in all five innings, came back with four runs in the top of the third to grab the lead for good. After a walk and an error senior Caitlin Lake drilled a two-run double while freshman Mikayla Meehan's single later in the inning scored Lake, and Pietanza doubled to plate the final run of the frame.
Salisbury scored three more in the fourth and four in the fifth to close out the scoring, finishing with 17 hits, five of which went for extra bases. Collins, Yanarella, Meehan, and Pietanza each had three hits, while Lake and Courtney Tate each had a pair. Tate drove in three runs with a fifth-inning double.
Sophomore Shannon Powell picked up the win, coming on in relief in the second inning and working the final 3 1/3 innings, while surrendering just three hits in that time.
William Peace 3, Salisbury 2
In Salisbury's final game of the event, the Sea Gulls suffered their second loss of the year, despite grabbing a lead in the third inning.
The Pacers took a 1-0 lead on a solo home run in the top of the third inning, but Salisbury was able to score two in the bottom half of the frame.
Junior Kelly Schatz began the bottom of the third with a single to left-center field before a ground out pushed Schatz to second base.
Collins followed with an RBI double to tie the game, and Collins scored the go-ahead run when Yanarella doubled one batter later.
The Pacers came up with a pair of hits in the top of the fourth inning and used one Salisbury error to tie the game. Another unearned run in the fifth gave William Peace (7-7) the lead for good.
The Sea Gulls (2-2) had their best chance to draw even or take the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when Meehan reached on an error and Pietanza doubled to put two runners in scoring position with one out, but a groundout and pop out ended the threat.
Rachael Milligan took the loss, despite surrendering just three runs (one earned) on six hits over five innings while striking out three.
Pietanza and Collins each went 2-for 3 in the contest.
Salisbury will play two more on the road, at Virginia Wesleyan College, on Tuesday, February 28, before opening play at home this weekend at the Sea Gull Softball Stadium.