SALISBURY, Md. – With a pair of wins on the second day of the Salisbury Invitational, the No. 3 Salisbury University softball team matched the best start in program history, beginning the 2014 campaign 14-0.
Salisbury took down Capital University, in the team's first game of the day, 9-0, and closed out the competition with a 12-2 win against the State University of New York at New Paltz.
Game 1: Salisbury 9, Capital 0 (6 inn.)
Salisbury got the scoring started early against Capital to roll to their 13th win of the season.
After sophomore Paige Knussman reached on a Capital error in the second inning, she moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from classmate Katie Sebbane and scored when Angela Malgieri drove a ball to left-center field gap for a double and a 1-0 Sea Gull lead.
Malgieri swiped third and would score the second run of the game on a Molly Simpson single to right field.
Alexis Peay, making her first start of the season, opened the third inning with a single through the left side, and moved to third following a steal of second and the Capital catcher's throw sailing into center field. Peay would bring home an insurance run for the Sea Gulls, making it 3-0, when Kim Dorsey grounded out to second base.
The Sea Gulls added to the lead when sophomore Dorsey drove the first pitch of the fifth inning the opposite way, through the wind, and out for a solo home run for a 4-0 lead. It marked the fourth-consecutive inning that Salisbury's leadoff batter would reach base against Capital starting pitcher Brooke Billings.
Salisbury would put the game away with four runs in the top of the sixth inning, making a winner of junior Rachel Johnson who sat down nine Crusaders on strikes, while giving up just two hits in the contest. The complete-game shutout is the fifth for Johnson this season.
Game 2: Salisbury 12, SUNY New Paltz 2 (5 inn.)
The Sea Gull bats picked up where they left off in game two, plating four runs in the bottom of the first inning on five hits.
Hill opened the frame with a single through the left side and advanced to second on Peay's sacrifice, before Dorsey doubled to right field to give the Gulls a 1-0 lead. The next batter, Knussman, ripped a double to center field, bringing home Dorsey.
Hoey would drive in Knussman with a single and later in the inning senior Angelia McDowell would draw a bases-loaded walk to push the lead to 4-0.
The four runs were plenty for senior Kathryn Larson who kept the Hawks (1-7) off the board until the fifth inning. But Salisbury would lengthen the lead with a run in the second and added four in the third, highlighted by Knussman's two-run single as the Sea Gulls (14-0) took a 9-0 lead.
The Hawks put up their two runs in the contest when Erika Traina connected for a two-run home run off Larson in the top of the fourth inning, but Salisbury would come right back as Dorsey belted her second home run of the day, and sixth of the year, a three-run shot to straightaway center field in the bottom of the fourth.
Freshman Ashley Lesniewski worked the final inning, in relief of Larson, giving up one hit before finishing off the win.
Salisbury's 14th win of the year matches the 1999 season, when Salisbury began 14-0 as the best start in program history.
Salisbury will be off for more than a week before its next game, when the Sea Gulls travel to Newport News, Va., to take on Capital Athletic Conference newcomer Christopher Newport University in each team's CAC opening doubleheader of the season. The Sea Gulls will not return to action at the SU Softball Field until a doubleheader against Virginia Wesleyan College on April 2.