SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University softball team continued play in the Salisbury Invitational on Sunday morning, earning a pair of wins against the State University of New York at New Paltz, taking the opener 7-1 before winning the second game 9-2.
Game 1: Salisbury 7, SUNY New Paltz 1
The Salisbury bats were hot early in the first game, coming up with four hits and scoring twice in the top of the first inning, playing as the visiting team. Brooke Yerger ripped a ball through the right side and Caitlin Lake reached on a bloop to center field before the pair moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Junior Annie Pietanza drove a ball up the middle to bring both runs home for a 2-0 lead.
Salisbury added an insurance run in the second with Kristen Yanarella belting a double down the left field line before advancing on an illegal pitch, which kept the frame alive for Collins. The junior drove a liner to center field, scoring Yanarella for a 3-0 advantage.
The Sea Gull bats stayed hot in the third, with an RBI triple from Amelia Trotter, scoring Emily Allen, who reached on a hard-hit single up the middle. Salisbury scored in the first four innings to take a 7-0 lead.
The early runs were plenty for starting pitcher Brooke Mizelle, who found her grove in the circle. Mizelle allowed only one hit through the first three innings and gave up seven hits in the game, none of which came on hard-hit balls. The win is the second of the season for Mizelle, who struck out four and allowed just one unearned run in the game.
Salisbury put the game away with three runs in the fourth, highlighted by Lake's two-run double, to go with an RBI double from Pietanza, plating Lake.
Lake was 3-for-4 in the game, while Pietanza, Allen, and Yanarella each had a pair of hits as Salisbury had 12 in the game.
Game 2: Salisbury 9, SUNY New Paltz 2
The Sea Gulls (8-8) took their strong offensive performance into the second game, with the first two players recording extra-base hits. Collins opened the inning with her fourth triple of the weekend, driving a ball to right-center field and scored when Yerger hit a double to center which caromed off the fence on one bounce.
The triple is the seventh of Collins' career which moved her into the top 10 in program history, tied for eighth.
Yerger came around to score on a single by Pietanza and Salisbury benefited from three walks by New Paltz pitcher Kiersten Carlomagno in the inning, with Kaylee Hahn's bases loaded free pass forcing in a run for a 3-0 Sea Gull lead.
The Hawks (0-4) put up a run in the second on a solo home run, but it was one of just four hits allowed by Salisbury starter Rachael Milligan in her complete-game effort.
Collins added to Salisbury's lead in the second inning, beginning the frame by driving a ball to right-center field, just out of the reach of the right fielder Julia Dispignia. Head Coach Margie Knight never hesitated, waving Collins around third base as she slid to the outside to avoid the tag at the plate for the inside-the-park home run, her first of the year and a 4-0 lead.
Salisbury continued to hit in the inning, scoring two more on another Pietanza single up the middle and Grace Bandini drove home Pietanza for a 7-1 lead through two innings.
The scoring was capped in the next inning with New Paltz getting its final run of the game in the top half, scoring on one hit in the frame, with Salisbury responding with two runs in the home half.
Collins began the third with a double to left-center, and scored on a Yerger single before the freshman came home on Lake's double.
Collins finished off a big day in the bottom of the fifth, hitting for the cycle with an infield single, as she finished the game 4-for-4 with three runs scored. Yerger was 3-for-3, scoring three times, while Lake, Pietanza and Yanarella each had a pair of hits in Salisbury's 14-hit outing.
Milligan struck out six, while walking only two to grab her fourth win of the year.
The Sea Gulls get their third-straight day of competition on Monday, March 13, hosting Lynchburg College for a doubleheader beginning at noon.