Updated: Mar 5, 2019
The Sea Gull softball team hosted three games on the first day of the Salisbury Tournament on Saturday, with Clarkson University (0-0) and Washington College (1-0) coming to town.
After mother nature interfered with a weekend tournament in North Carolina along with two home doubleheaders, the Sea Gulls finally were back out on the field for the first time in two weeks.
“It was really good for us to get back out on the field and play,” head coach Margie Knight said.
The Sea Gulls (3-1) began their day taking on the Clarkson Golden Knights, followed by a matchup with Eastern Shore rival Washington College.
Game One: Salisbury 10, Clarkson 3
Salisbury fell behind early after a solo home run by senior Liz Caggiano to put the Golden Knights up 1-0. Freshman pitcher Jillian Jones was able to rebound after giving up the home run by retiring the next two batters.
The Sea Gulls followed it up with a big response in the form of five runs in the bottom of the first inning to take the lead. Junior catcher Emily Allen started off the scoring with a two RBI double.
Junior infielder Kayleigh Edwards and sophomore outfielder Sami Mumford kept the offense rolling with RBI singles, pushing the Gulls' lead early.
After giving up the first-inning home run, Jones retired the next four batters and seven out of the next nine batters she faced.
Clarkson was looking to cut the lead with two outs in the third, but stranded a runner on second after only scoring one. That one run would not help much as the Sea Gulls kept pouring it on with a couple more runs off the bats of Mumford and junior shortstop Dakotah Fraley.
Changes to the circle came in the fourth, with senior Shannon Powell taking over for Jones. Powell's only blemish on the game was a solo shot from junior Michele Winn in the fifth to keep the game going.
Mumford and senior first baseman Amelia Trotter pushed SU's lead to 10-2 in the bottom half of the fourth to finish off the scoring for Salisbury's offense.
Sami Mumford went 2-2 to lead the offense with a season-high four RBIs, attributing the successful day at the plate to the team's work in practice.
“The drills that coach gives us are great, they just help us on our weaknesses, so we just have strengths,” Mumford said.
Defense and pitching stayed solid in the final two innings to retire the next six batters in order thanks to a double play in the seventh inning, securing the 10-3 victory.
Game Two: Salisbury 13, Washington College 1
After a scoreless first inning, the Sea Gulls took over the game with runs in each of the final five innings.
A Washington error put the Shorewomen in the hole early, allowing junior third baseman Kaleigh Edwards and Trotter to score, and senior outfielder Cat Ramagnano’s RBI brought Mumford in to make it 3-0.
The Shorewomen got a run back in the bottom of the second inning, but it was the only time they would cross the plate all game.
Allen crushed a pitch out to left field for Salisbury’s first home run of the year in the top of the third inning, adding another in the fifth.
“I was just seeing the ball really well. All I wanted to do was hit the ball to where it was pitched,” Allen said. “I took advantage, because [Washington’s pitcher] threw inside pitches, and those are easier to hit.”
It was every other inning when the Gulls would see an offensive streak, with each even inning bringing multiple runs home.
A three-run fourth followed by a five-run sixth put the Sea Gulls ahead 13-1, giving the defense the chance to end the game early with a mercy rule win.
Salisbury would get the final three outs to end the game 13-1 in the Sea Gulls' favor in six innings. Powell did just that with relief appearances in both games, this time going four innings to get the win.
Allen went 3-4 in game two, with two home runs and a game-high three RBIs.
For the fourth time in this young season, SU's offense put up double-digit runs with a season high 13 coming in game two.
“We were really aggressive at the plate, we weren’t chasing bad pitches,” Mumford said.
This was also the fourth time that Salisbury’s defense held opponents to under five runs.
“I think what you saw was from us was having two weeks off to work on defense really payed off,” Coach Knight said. “As a coach, I try to come up with everything we may see in in a game, and we have worked diligently on 1-4, and we work diligently with our outfield,”
Defensive play stayed solid in each game with four double plays on the day to aid the pitching. Allen knows that the strong play is due to the team being on the same wavelength, and being aware of situations.
“I think everybody knows what they’re doing, and they’re thinking of the play ahead,” Allen said. “We know that we have to turn two and everyone is like, ‘Good throws.’”
The Sea Gulls return to action at Sea Gull Softball Stadium on Sunday to take on Clarkson (0-1) and Washington (1-1) and finish off the Salisbury Tournament.
By BRANDON STARK
Featured photo: Amelia Trotter stretches at first to receive the throw for an out against Clarkson University. March 2 (KB Mensah images).