SALISBURY, Md. – After numerous schedule adjustments and challenges from Mother Nature, the No. 3 Salisbury University softball team was able to get play underway at the Sea Gull Classic on Friday morning.
The Sea Gulls rolled to a pair of victories against Rutgers University-Newark on Friday, winning 10-0 in five innings and adding a 7-1 win to close the day.
Game 1: Salisbury 10, Rutgers-Newark 0 (5 inn.)
Salisbury got all the offense it would need in the opener in the bottom of the first inning. Senior first baseman Harley Hill opened the frame by drawing a walk and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and a hard-shot ground out before trotting home when sophomore designated player Paige Knussman drilled a two-run home run to straight-away center field.
The two runs were good for pitchers Rachel Johnson and Ashley Lesniewski, who would combine for a no-hitter – the 40th no-no in program history. Johnson worked the first four innings, surrendering just one base runner, on a walk, while striking out seven. Lesniewski gave up a walk in the final inning, but no Scarlet Raider reached scoring position in the game.
The Sea Gulls would get the leadoff runner on in the second, as well, when junior catcher Rebecca Hoey was hit by a pitch. Hoey would later score on a throwing error and Hill would drive in sophomore Molly Simpson with a sacrifice fly to double Salisbury's lead to 4-0.
Salisbury brought in two more runs in the third and added four in the fourth, highlighted by sophomore Alexis Peay's two-run single, to cap the scoring.
Knussman had two hits in the game as Salisbury needed just eight hits as a team to pull off the win.
Game 2: Salisbury 7, Rutgers-Newark 1
In the second game, Salisbury had more hits, ripping 13 in the contest, but could drive home just seven runs as the Rutgers-Newark (0-2) defense did well to cut down a number of Sea Gulls at the plate.
In the first, the Sea Gulls (6-0) loaded the bases with just one out, but would come away with no runs, after two groundballs ended the threat.
In the top of the second, Salisbury put together four hits to score four runs and take control. The Sea Gulls loaded the bases with one out, but Rutgers-Newark was able to erase a runner at home before sophomore Kim Dorsey ripped a two-run single up the middle. Senior Molly Gigioli would score on a wild pitch and a Knussman single to third base plated Dorsey for the 4-0 lead.
Salisbury added another run in the third when Hoey doubled to open the inning, and came around on Simpson's double two batters later.
The Scarlet Raiders would get their lone run of the day across in the bottom of the third, but that was all they could do against Salisbury starter Kathryn Larson, and Lesniewski. Larson scattered seven hits while striking out six in five innings of work and Lesniewski gave up just one hit, as she pitched two innings.
Dorsey finished the game 4-for-4 while Knussman was 3-for-3. Knussman went 5-for-5 on the day, driving in four SU runs.
Salisbury will continue the Sea Gull Classic on Saturday, taking on Wilkes University in a pair of games at the SU Softball Field beginning at 9 a.m. Rutgers-Newark will play Lynchburg College in two games in the afternoon.