VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Salisbury University softball team suffered a pair of losses at No. 19 Virginia Wesleyan College on Tuesday afternoon, falling 9-1 in the opener and 5-3 in the nightcap.
Game 1: Virginia Wesleyan 9, Salisbury 1 (5 inn.)
The Marlins scored its nine runs in the first three innings of the game to open up a 9-0 lead in the opener.
Virginia Wesleyan got a hit, a walk, and a three-run home run to begin the bottom of the first inning, and put up two more runs on two hits in the second before scoring four more in the third to cap the Marlins' scoring.
Salisbury put runners on base in the second, third, and fourth innings, but were unable to get a run home until the fifth inning. Kaila Beach singled with one out in the fifth and was pinch run for by Karlie Brenton. A single by junior LeAnne Collins pushed Brenton to third and Kristen Yanarella's single drove in the only run of the game for the Gulls.
Game 2: Virginia Wesleyan 5, Salisbury 3
The Sea Gulls (2-4) got to work quickly on offense in the second game, but could not push a run across until the third. Collins led off the contest with a single to left center. She advanced into scoring position on a bunt, but was stranded at second due to a strikeout and a groundout.
A pair of walks put two on in the second, but Virginia Wesleyan starter Hannah Hull escaped the jam, with a strikeout, one of five she recorded in the game.
The Marlins (8-0) got on the board with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second inning, with one hit and taking advantage of a Salisbury error.
Salisbury cut into the 2-0 lead with a run in the third, when Collins walked to begin the frame and advanced on a sacrifice bunt before a pair of wild pitches brought her in.
The Sea Gulls drew even in the top of the fifth inning after Rachel Cadigan started things with a single and got around to third on a bunt and wild pitch. Cadigan scored on Mikayla Meehan's single down the right field line, tying the game at 2-2 with two outs.
The tie only lasted until the bottom half of the inning, due to three runs coming home for Virginia Wesleyan on three hits.
Trailing 5-3, Salisbury got two runners on in the sixth, but couldn't bring a run home, and were able to score one on three hits in the seventh, with Annie Pietanza driving home Meehan, but it was the only run for the Gulls in the inning.
The Sea Gulls return to Salisbury this weekend to open up the brand new Sea Gull Softball Stadium. The Sea Gull Classic will be played on Saturday and Sunday, March 4 and 5. A ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the new facility will begin at 9:30 on Saturday morning, followed by the Sea Gulls taking on Clarkson University at 10 a.m.