SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University softball team opened the new Sea Gull Softball Stadium in style, earning two wins on the first day of the Sea Gull Classic, including a 5-3 comeback win against Clarkson University in the new facility's first game.
Salisbury closed out its first day in the stadium with an 11-1 win against Washington (Md.) College.
Prior to the start of the first game, a ceremony was held to commemorate the opening of the facility, with comments from Salisbury University President Dr. Janet Dudley-Eshbach and Interim Director of Athletics and Recreation Dr. Gerry DiBartolo.
More than 70 former players, coaches and support staff members were able to throw out commemorative first pitches before the stadium saw its first competitive pitch.
Salisbury 5, Clarkson 3
In the first game of the Sea Gull Softball Stadium, the Golden Knights took the first lead and registered the first hit and first home run, but the first win would stay in Salisbury, with the Sea Gulls coming back from a 3-1 deficit to earn the victory.
Sophomore pitcher Shannon Powell kept Clarkson off balance through her 5 2/3 innings in the circle, giving up three runs – only two of which were earned – while striking out five.
The Golden Knights struck first, putting up a run in the top of the second inning, taking advantage of a Salisbury passed ball to score the unearned run against Powell, and Clarkson starter Jamie Bridge kept the Sea Gull bats silent, carrying a no-hit bid into the fifth inning.
Sophomore Amelia Trotter ended that effort, driving a ball up the middle to begin the fifth inning before being lifted for pinch runner Brooke Yerger. Yerger stole second and advanced to third on a bunt before scoring on a two-out single from junior LeAnne Collins, tying the game.
The Golden Knights pulled ahead with a two-run home run in the top of the sixth, but the lead was short lived with senior Caitlin Lake turning on a pitch on the inside corner for a three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth. Trotter added a solo shot two pitches later to push the lead to 5-3.
Sophomore Brooke Mizelle, who came on in relief in the top of the inning earned the win, allowing just one hit and striking out two over 1 1/3 innings.
Salisbury 11, Washington 1
In the second game, Salisbury got the first run on the board the hard way, with three players behind hit by pitches from Washington (3-3) starter Maddie Bennett, including Lake taking one off the leg with the bases loaded, forcing home a run.
The Shorewomen loaded the bases in the bottom of the first on three walks from Sea Gull starter Rachael Milligan, but the junior escaped the jam with a strikeout of Alli Saul, who foul tipped the third strike which freshman catcher Emily Allen was able to squeeze, just before it hit the ground, to get the team out of the inning with the 1-0 lead.
Another hit batter and a walk set up Salisbury for a three-run third inning, with two runs scoring on Trotter's triple to center field, and a wild pitch brought the sophomore home for a 4-0 lead.
Salisbury scored three more in the fifth on Allen's first career home run, driving a ball out to left field, for the 7-0 lead as Milligan continued to roll, not surrendering a hit until Bennett singled on a liner to right field with one out in the sixth. It was the only hit the junior surrendered in six innings of work to collect the win.
The Sea Gulls (4-4) scored four more times in the seventh before Washington put its only run of the game up in the bottom of the inning.
The Sea Gull Classic concludes on Sunday, March 5 with Clarkson and Washington squaring off at 10 a.m., followed by Salisbury's two games against the now familiar foes.