Long ball key in Salisbury softball sweeping CNU
The eighth-ranked Salisbury softball team swept No. 11 Christopher Newport in Saturday’s double header. Salisbury University defeated the Captains by an 8-0 mark in the first game and a 7-2 tally in the second.
The Sea Gulls and Captains split their two prior meetings this season, with Salisbury taking the first game of the weekend series 16-11, before falling to CNU 6-5 the following day.
Sophomore third baseman Madison Lednum felt the early season win over the Captains gave the team confidence on Saturday against its Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference rival.
“We knew it was a big game, so we knew we had to come out with our best,” Lednum said. “We practiced this week like it was the end game because this was a huge game for us.”
Game One: Salisbury 8, CNU 0 (six innings)
Salisbury opened the day’s scoring in the bottom of the second with a solo home run by senior designated player Madeira Alexander. The following inning, Abby Mace homered and both Lindsey Windsor and Kayleigh Edwards scored on a Newport fielding error to increase SU’s lead to 4-0.
Lauren Meyers and Edwards both hit two-run home runs in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings respectively, with Edwards’s homer clinching the game one win over the Captains.
Edwards went two for three at the plate with a double and her two-RBI home run in the first game. She was also one of four Sea Gulls to homer in game one.
Windsor pitched a complete game on the mound, surrendering just two hits and a walk while striking out three batters. Windsor said her trust in her offense helped her nab a team-high eighth win.
“I just stayed really humble, relied on my teammates to keep me up and relied on their bats to get me through it,” Windsor said.
Game Two: Salisbury 7, CNU 2
Edwards picked up where she left off in game one by homering in the bottom of the first. Lednum’s two-run homer and Natalie Paoli’s solo home run put Salisbury up 4-0 heading into the fourth inning.
The Captains picked up their first run of the day with a solo home run by Caitlin Abernethy in the top of the fourth. Patty May Ohanian homered in the following inning to cut SU’s lead to 4-2.
The Sea Gull offense pulled away from CNU in the bottom of the sixth with Reagan Smith, Madi Lemon and Jillian Jones all scoring.
Windsor, who started game two playing in the outfield, came on to pitch in the final two innings. Salisbury held on to defeat the visitors 7-2 to complete the sweep.
Savanah Sheats, who started Game 2, struck out four batters in her five innings pitched, picking up her seventh win of the year. Windsor picked up the save, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out a batter.
The Sea Gulls took the slow trot around the bases seven times against CNU on Saturday, with Edwards sending a ball out in each game. Salisbury has homered at least once in each of their last five games.
Edwards said the approach is more important than the result when she steps into the box.
“I just focus on squaring the ball up in the middle and if it goes out, it goes out,” Edwards said.
Lednum lead the way offensively in game two, going three-for-four with a double and a two-run home run.
The maroon and gold have a quick turnaround as they travel to Randolph-Macon on Sunday for a double header date with the 19th-ranked Yellow Jackets.
Lednum believes the momentum gained after Saturday’s sweep will carry into their Sunday games at Randolph-Macon.
“I think this huge win, both of them, will carry over in to [our upcoming game] as we have the momentum, we’re ready to go and we’re confident,” Lednum said.
By BRANDON STARK
Photo courtesy of Sports Information.