SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University softball team split its two games on the first day of the Salisbury Invitational against Ursinus College, with the Bears claiming the opener, 8-6, and the Sea Gulls rallying for a 10-4 win in the second contest.
Game 1: Ursinus 8, Salisbury 6
In the first game, Salisbury got the scoring going in the bottom of the first inning, getting a leadoff triple from LeAnne Collins to straightaway center field. Collins came home on Brooke Yerger's bunt, and with two errors on the play Yerger made it to second base.
Yerger would represent the second run for the Sea Gulls, scoring when Annie Pietanza singled up the middle.
The Bears took control in the latter innings of the game, scoring four times in the top of the fourth. After sophomore pitcher Shannon Powell had held Ursinus to just two hits through the first three innings, the Bears' bats came alive in the fourth for five hits, including a two-run single from Gabrielle Monto that gave Ursinus the lead.
Salisbury tied the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning. Collins tripled again, scoring Caitlin Lake, and Yerger singled to bring home Collins for the 4-4 tie, but the Bears tacked on two runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth off reliever Brooke Mizelle.
The Bears carried an 8-5 lead into the bottom of the seventh and Salisbury nearly drew even. Lake singled with one out before Kristen Yanarella's double put two runners in scoring position. Freshman Grace Bandini came on in a pinch hit role and stood at the plate representing the tying run. She turned on an 0-and-2 offering from Ursinus starter Kaitlyn Willis. The shot up into the wind out to left field was caught just shy of the warning track for a sacrifice fly, bringing home Lake to bring the score to 8-6. Willis was able to follow that with a strikeout to end the game.
Collins was 3-for-5 for Salisbury in the opener, scoring twice, as Salisbury had 10 hits in the game with Yanarella notching two.
Game 2: Salisbury 10, Ursinus 4
Salisbury (6-8) jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second game of the day through three innings, scoring four times in the second inning on three hits. Yanarella doubled before Kaila Beach and Summer Paglianete each walked to load the bases. Collins drilled a ball to center field that dropped in, clearing the bases for a 3-0 lead.
Collins came home on Yerger's single up the middle, and after the Bears scored twice in the bottom of the second, Beach legged out an infield single to allow Lake to score for the 5-1 lead.
The Sea Gulls scored five more runs to push the lead to 10-2 before Ursinus (4-6) got two back in the bottom of the seventh.
Two runs scored in the fourth when Pietanza grounded into an error, allowing Yerger and Collins to score, and Collins drove in two more in the seventh as she finished the day with six runs driven in and four scored.
Rachael Milligan picked up the win, going the distance while allowing no earned runs and just two hits while striking out one.
The Sea Gulls will finish up play in the Salisbury Invitational on Sunday, March 12, playing two games against the State University of New York at New Paltz, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Ursinus and Lynchburg College, which took two from New Paltz on Saturday, will square off in two games following Salisbury and New Paltz.