VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The No. 2 Salisbury University softball team split a doubleheader in an early top-10 match-up, taking down No. 10 Virginia Wesleyan College on Tuesday afternoon, 1-0 in the opener, and falling, 3-1, in the nightcap.
Game 1: Salisbury 1, Virginia Wesleyan 0
Salisbury put two runners on base in the first inning, thanks to a one-out Marlin error and a single by junior Katie Sebbane, but the runners would be stranded.
The Marlins would threaten in the first inning, as the first two batters reached on base hits against senior pitcher Rachel Johnson. The Sea Gull hurler would record a pair of flyouts and on the second, senior Angela Malgieri threw behind the runner at first base for a double play, ending the inning.
Neither team would record another hit until the bottom of the fourth inning when Virginia Wesleyan's Courtney Bogan came up with a single. Johnson and Virginia Wesleyan starter Kristina Karigiorigus dueled until the sixth when the Sea Gulls scored the game's only run.
Johnson was able to keep the game scoreless until that point thanks to another stellar defensive play, and the second outfield assist of the game. After a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth, Kayla Malkos walked to open the inning and stole second base. With two outs, Liz Bailey singled to left field, but Malkos was unable to score as freshman LeAnne Collins gunned down the potential go-ahead run at the plate, ending the inning.
In the top of the sixth, junior Molly Simpson opened the frame by reaching on a two-base error, before a sacrifice bunt by Kim Dorsey moved her to third. Sebbane walked before senior Rebecca Hoey sent a gounder to second base. Simpson scored the eventual game-winning run as Sebbane was thrown out at second.
Johnson would make the one run stand up, retiring the final six batters, including three strikeouts. Johnson sat down nine Marlin batters on strikes in the contest and surrendered just two hits in the game.
Game 2: Virginia Wesleyan 3, Salisbury 1
The Sea Gulls got on the board quicker in the second game, plating their first run in the second inning against Virginia Wesleyan starting pitcher Mary Shipp. With one out Hoey singled up the middle and advanced into scoring position on a walk by junior Paige Knussman. Sophomore Caitlin Lake pinch ran for Hoey and junior Annah Brittingham ripped an RBI single to center field, scoring Lake from second for the 1-0 lead.
The Marlins (4-2) would draw even in the bottom of the second, putting four runners on base in the frame. A leadoff walk, surrendered by Brittingham, Salisbury's starting pitcher, would be erased as Hoey threw out Cassey Howerin trying to steal second.
A single and another walk, followed by a double steal put runners in scoring position before a single up the middle tied the game, 1-1. Brittngham would record the final out of the inning with runners at the corners.
The game would remain square at 1-1 until the sixth, when the Marlins plated two runs on a pair of errors and two hits. Brittingham was charged with the loss in the game.
The Sea Gulls (3-1) return to action this weekend, hosting the Salisbury University Tournament.
The Sea Gulls will play Ursinus College, Capital University and Rutgers University-Camden in their games, beginning on Friday, March 13, at 1 p.m., against Ursinus.