Softball sweeps Harrisburg, heads to CAC tournament next week

Softball sweeps Harrisburg, heads to CAC tournament next week

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Salisbury University softball team closed out regular season play in the Capital Athletic Conference with a doubleheader sweep at Penn State University-Harrisburg on Saturday, coming from behind to take the opener, 10-7, and led throughout the second contest to secure a 10-3 victory.

Game 1: Salisbury 10, Penn St.-Harrisburg 7

The Sea Gulls found themselves in a 7-2 hole after four innings of the opener, getting a run on an error in the first inning, with Annie Pietanza driving in the run, and Kristen Yanarella scoring on a wild pitch in the top of the fourth.

The Lions got two runs in the bottom of the first and held the lead through the first five innings, though three of the hosts' seven runs in the game were unearned.

The Salisbury bats came to life in the sixth inning, scoring seven times on seven hits to take the lead. Pietanza opened the inning with a double and scored on Yanarella's single, cutting the Harrisburg lead to 7-3.

Freshman Kaila Beach drove in two runs with a single later in the inning and the Sea Gulls took the lead with three-consecutive run-scoring hits. Brooke Yerger drove in a run to get back within one and senior Caitlin Lake sent two runs home with her triple, for an 8-7 lead. Pietanza plated Lake with a single and the Gulls never looked back.

Salisbury added a run in the seventh for a 10-7 lead and the Sea Gulls held on through the final three outs.

Junior pitcher Rachael Milligan, who entered the game in relief, got the first two outs of the seventh before a pair of walks brought the potential tying run to the plate. Sophomore Shannon Powell came on to record the final out, getting a ground out to finish the game and her first save of the year.

Collins and Yerger each had three hits in the game while six Sea Gulls finished with multiple hits.

Game 2: Salisbury 10, Penn St.-Harrisburg 3

Two quick runs in the second game allowed Salisbury (21-15, 10-4 CAC) to lead throughout and secure the sweep. Collins opened the contest with an infield single and Yerger reached base on a Harrisburg error.

Pietanza drove in the first run on a sacrifice fly, scoring Collins, and Yerger came home on a wild pitch for the 2-0 lead.

The Lions (12-18, 2-12 CAC) came back with a run in the bottom of the first, but Salisbury scored a run in the third on a Pietanza double, plating Yerger, and three more came home in the fourth with solo home runs from freshman Emily Allen and sophomore Courtney Tate and Lake brought home a run with her sacrifice fly.

The Lions score twice in the fifth, but three more runs from Salisbury on RBI hits from Pietanza, Mikayla Meehan, and Allen in the sixth put the game out of reach.

Collins, Yerger, and Allen each had three hits in the game while Pietanza finished the day with five runs driven in during the doubleheader.

The Sea Gulls, the third-seeded team in the CAC tournament, will begin play in the postseason on Thursday, April 20 taking on second-seeded Frostburg State University. The tournament will be played at Christopher Newport University, with Thursday's game scheduled to begin at noon.

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