SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University softball team earned a Capital Athletic Conference doubleheader sweep of Wesley College at Sea Gull Softball Stadium, claiming the opener 1-0 before finishing off the sweep with a 2-0 win in the second game on Wednesday. The two shutouts pushed the Salisbury pitching staff's scoreless streak to 23 consecutive innings.
Game 1: Salisbury 1, Wesley 0
The pitchers controlled the early innings of the opening contest, though each team had their chances with both teams getting base runners.
Wesley put two runners on base in the first inning against Salisbury starter Rachael Milligan and loaded the bases in the second, but the junior escaped both jams, getting a couple of strikeouts to end the first and a pop up to finish off the second.
Milligan scattered three hits in the game, with all of them remaining in the infield on weakly hit balls. The Chestertown, Maryland native struck out seven in the contest and walked four, earning her seventh win of the year. It was her fourth complete-game effort in 2017.
Salisbury broke the scoreless tie in the fourth inning after Annie Pietanza got things going with a one-out double that just stayed fair on a sharp grounder over the third-base bag. She advanced to third on a shallow fly ball to right field off the bat of Mikayla Meehan.
After a pop out, for the second out of the frame, Meehan took off to steal second base and the throw from catcher Nina Marcano was low and skipped into center field, allowing Pietanza to score for the game's first run.
Milligan controlled things from there, facing just one more jam when she hit a batter and gave up an infield single with two outs in the fifth. Milligan was helped by her defense when Karina Cardona sent a ball to right-center field that looked destined to find the gap. But junior right fielder LeAnne Collins ran down the shot and made a catch just shy of the warning track to end the inning and preserve the lead.
Game 2: Salisbury 2, Wesley 0
In the second contest, the Wolverines (16-12, 2-6 CAC) threatened early, putting two on in the top of the first against Salisbury starter Shannon Powell. Powell was able to keep the Wolverines off the scoreboard, getting a pop out to strand the two runners.
Salisbury got its first run quicker in the second game, as Meehan made it 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning. She walked to begin the frame and stole second, advancing to third on a throwing error by Marcano trying to cut down the steal attempt.
Freshman Emily Allen reached on an error which allowed Meehan to score, and Allen came around to score, making it 2-0, a few moments later as Wesley turned a double play for the first two outs of the inning.
The two runs were plenty for Powell who gave up four hits in the game, and only one after the second inning, striking out four and walking none for her seventh win of the year. Powell has not surrendered a run in the past 16 innings in the circle.
The final hit of the game for the Wolverines came with two outs in the seventh inning, but Powell sealed the victory by getting Casey Beall to wave at a pitch on the outside corner for a strikeout and the doubleheader sweep.
The Sea Gulls close out a lengthy home stretch on Saturday, April 8 hosting Christopher Newport Unviersity for a CAC doubleheader, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Prior to the start of the games at Sea Gull Softball Stadium, the program will honor its two seniors: Caitlin Lake and Summer Paglianete.