SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University softball team opened the 2018 season with a split in its first two games of the Sea Gull Early Bird Tournament, topping Keystone College before falling to The College of New Jersey at Sea Gull Softball Stadium on Saturday.
Salisbury 12, Keystone 2 (5 inn.)
After Keystone (0-2) tied the game in the bottom of the inning, the Sea Gulls exploded for seven runs in the second on nine hits, highlighted by a two-run single from sophomore Dakotah Fraley and an RBI double ripped down the left field line by freshman Madeira Alexander. Salisbury sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning.
Fraley added the first home run of her Sea Gull career in the third inning, a two-run shot to push the lead to 10-1.
Fraley went 4-for-4 in her Salisbury debut, with four RBI and three extra-base hits while Emily Allen was 3-for-4, scoring twice, and Collins went 2-for-3, scoring three runs.
Junior Shannon Powell got the start in the circle, going two innings while striking out one and surrendering just one unearned run on one hit. Sophomore Alexis Layton picked up the win in relief, working two innings, striking out four.
TCNJ 6, Salisbury 4
The Sea Gulls escaped a first-inning jam when the Lions put two runners in scoring position, and just missed on a few foul balls inches wide of third base, but Powell who got her second start of the day in the circle was able to get a groundout and a strikeout to get out of the situation unscathed.
The Lions eventually got to Powell and scored all six of their runs in a two-inning span, scoring three in the third and three more in the fourth before the Sea Gulls were able to respond in the latter stages of the game.
Salisbury cut into the lead in the sixth inning when Fraley started the frame with a double to right center before advancing to third on Pietanza's single and scoring on a Keystone error.
But TCNJ starter Sam Platt was too strong, going the distance for the win, registering one strikeout while scattering 11 hits.
Brea Bishop worked a solid four innings of relief for Salisbury in the game, giving up just four hits and one run while walking none.
The event continues on Sunday, February 25 with Keystone and TCNJ taking the field for the first game, at 10 a.m. Salisbury will take on Keystone in the second game before closing the tournament with a meeting with TCNJ, scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.