Hoey drills game-winning home run as softball closes regular season with doubleheader sweep of Stevenson

Hoey drills game-winning home run as softball closes regular season with doubleheader sweep of Stevenson

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The No. 6 Salisbury University softball team picked up a doubleheader sweep at Stevenson University to close out the regular season on Sunday afternoon, picking up wins of 8-0 and 2-1.

The Sea Gulls (35-3) earned the victories on the strength of pitching performances from Kathryn Larson and Rachel Johnson, and big hits from Paige Knussman and Rebecca Hoey.

Game one: No. 6 Salisbury 8, Stevenson 0 (5 inn.)

The Sea Gulls, who scored eight runs on just seven hits in the opener, got all the offense they would need in the second inning, bringing across seven runs on four hits with the benefit of three Stevenson errors.

Sophomore Molly Simpson would drive in the game's first run, scoring Hoey from second on a single to left field and a Mustang error. After Johnson singled up the middle, Salisbury got the benefit of another Stevenson error to score Simpson and another Mustang miscue brought home Johnson for a 3-0 lead.

Sophomore Kim Dorsey would double to bring in two runs before Knussman's two-run home run pushed the lead to 7-0 after the top of the second.

Johnson was the only Sea Gull with multiple hits in the game, going 2-for-2 in the contest.

The seven runs were plenty for Johnson, who retired the first seven batters she faced before a single up the middle in the bottom of the third. It was the only base runner allowed by Salisbury pitching in the game, as Johnson worked four shutout innings before freshman Ashley Lesniewski came on for a perfect fifth inning to close out the win.

Salisbury put up the final run of the game in the top of the third when senior Harley Hill singled home junior Angela Malgieri for the 8-0 final score.

Game two: No. 6 Salisbury 2, Stevenson 1

Salisbury would not trail in the nightcap, scoring in the top of the first inning. After Hill opened the game with a single to left-center field, she advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and a fly out before scoring for the 1-0 lead on Knussman's double to left field.

The one-run lead would last until the bottom of the third inning when the Mustangs (16-23) would plate their only run of the day. Larson retired the first six batters of the game before Jenna Fiamingo reached on an infield single to open the inning.

After two outs, the Stevenson freshman stole second and scored on a single to tie the game.

Larson worked four innings, giving up just two hits, before being pinch hit for. Johnson worked the final three innings to collect her second win of the day, improving her record to 20-2 on the season.

Johnson was the beneficiary of Hoey's leadoff, solo home run to left field in the top of the seventh, giving Salisbury the 2-1 win. The blast was Hoey's sixth of the season.

Johnson gave up two hits and struck out seven in the relief effort, while Hill went 3-for-4 in the game to lead the Gulls and Hoey was 2-for-2.

The Sea Gulls will now await the NCAA tournament selections on Monday, May 5 to learn their next possible opponent.

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