SU softball splits doubleheader with No. 5 Captains
Sea Gull Stadium played host to a doubleheader between two of the CAC’s best as Salisbury (20-9; 4-2) hosted No. 5 Christopher Newport University (26-4; 7-1).
The Sea Gulls came into Friday’s contest on a five-game win streak. The Captains came in on a two-game win streak and winning eight of their last nine.
Game One: Salisbury 2, Christopher Newport 0
The first game of the doubleheader turned into a pitcher’s duel between senior Shannon Powell and CNU’s Trish Webb. Both pitchers allowed a combined 7 hits total in the game.
In a game where hits were hard to come by, senior outfielder Amelia Trotter was able to get Salisbury’s first hit of the game, a double. This ended a streak of five consecutive Sea Gull batters being sent down by CNU, while Trotter extended her hit streak to six games.
“I don’t think much about it, like I just kind of go up [to bat] and I see [the ball] and hit it,” Trotter said.
Freshman second baseman Kendall Dixon doubled on the next at bat, to bring Trotter around to score, giving Salisbury an early 1-0 lead.
In the third inning, freshman designated player Jillian Jones homered down the third base infield line after a 13 pitch at bat to put the Sea Gulls up 2-0. Jones stayed resilient throughout the at bat, fouling off multiple pitches until she got her fourth homerun of the year.
“I was thinking of my team the entire at bat and I did not want to let them down,” Jones said. “I was just focusing on seeing the pitch and making contact.”
Trotter would make a diving catch down the third base infield line to end the game and give Salisbury its first win against CNU since 2017, increasing its current win streak to six straight.
“I recently just got moved to the outfield,” Trotter said, “I don’t overthink [on defense] either … at the last second I called for it and I was like, ‘Now I have to get it,’ so I just went all out for it.”
Powell pitched the complete game shutout, striking out two batters while only allowing three base hits and a walk.
“I enjoyed the duel,” Powell said. “When your team even gets one run and it’s a 0-1 I felt confident the entire game, and when we got the second run, I felt more confident just going out and throwing my game.”
Game Two: Christopher Newport 6, Salisbury 0
The second game of the doubleheader started out much like the first one with CNU pitcher Emily Weatherholtz sending down six straight Sea Gull batters.
Junior Alexis Layton would get out of the first and second innings where it looked like CNU possibly could have scored.
The Sea Gulls would go to the bullpen in the third inning, bringing Powell back out in relief of Layton. Layton struck out one batter in her two and a third innings giving up just one run, on five hits.
The Captains would tack on five more runs in the inning, taking a 6-0 lead. Despite this, Powell and the offense would shut down CNU for the majority of the rest of the game.
Powell credits her defense’s performance for how they were able to keep the CNU bats at bay.
“The outfield was outstanding today,” Powell said. “The wind was really crazy, and they just stayed calm. [The outfield] kept two people on each ball and they would call each other off, same with second and short[stop] … they kept making plays for me.”
Salisbury continued to struggle on offense against the Captains pitching with their only hit coming on Kayleigh Edwards’ fifth homerun on the year in the bottom of the fifth.
Salsibury continued to struggle on offense against the Captains pitching with their only hit coming on Kayleigh Edwards’ fifth homerun on the year in the bottom of the fifth.
The Captains would take game two 6-1, splitting their doubleheader with Salisbury.
Salisbury, now 21-10 on the year, hosts Southern Virginia University (9-27; 2-8) on Saturday in its final home games of the year.
“[Southern Virginia] is much improved over the past three years; we will not take them lightly,” Salisbury head coach Margie Knight said.
By BRANDON STARK
Featured photo: Sea Gulls celebrate after winning game one of the double header (Oliva Rowland image).