By JAMIR WILSON
The final day of action in the Sea Gull Classic featured a Clarkson University win over Salisbury University in walk-off fashion to finish off a 13-11 shootout.
Clarkson freshman infielder Michele Winn stole the show with a monster home run to center field with two on in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift the Golden Knights to a comeback victory.
The three-run homer capped off a five-score inning by Clarkson after they found themselves trailing by three runs at the start of the seventh.
Salisbury led the entire game until the final inning of play. The Golden Knights took the Sea Gull’s best punch and continued to fight until they came out victorious.
“We just gave up too many runs,” SU head coach Margie Knight said. “We hit the ball hard, had sixteen hits but unfortunately didn’t win.”
The bats for the Sea Gulls were lively against Clarkson with nine different players accounting for a hit.
SU junior infielder Annie Pietanza was the star for the maroon and gold at the plate, sending two Clarkson pitches over the fence for homeruns.
“It feels good (that) my teammates were there to cheer me on as I was hitting and when I came back in, I think we got more pumped up after those homeruns,” Pietanza said.
The Sea Gulls received great performances at the plate from sophomore infielder Amelia Trotter and outfielders senior Caitlin Lake, junior LeAnne Collins and freshman Mikayla Meehan. All four accounted for two hits each against the Golden Knight pitchers.
“It builds our confidence and reminds us of how much power and ability we have and the amount of talent we have,” Pietanza said.
Pitching and defense is the Achilles heel for Salisbury so far this season, and after encouraging performances for both units on Saturday, they began to struggle again against Clarkson.
“Clarkson hit well against Washington College earlier and they certainly hit against us well,” Knight said.
“The umpire said the ball was moving well for our pitcher but they were just on it, so they had a great day. I don’t want to take anything away from them.”
Three Salisbury pitchers appeared on the mound against Clarkson and all had their struggles figuring out the batters in green and gold. Pietanza drew the loss in her one inning of work, but sophomore pitchers Brooke Mizelle and Shannon Powell combined to give up seven earned runs earlier in the game.
Junior outfielder Summer Lancette, freshman infielder Kyristen Messier, Winn and senior pitcher Jamie Bridge all carried the Golden Knight offense with multiple hits at the plate.
Bridge made her impact felt against the Sea Gulls by popping out four hits, picking up the win in the circle during her relief appearance and accounting for four runs.
Winn had a strong day at the plate by hitting two home runs, including the game winner in the seventh inning.
“At this point we have to tighten down defensively and, once we do that, the offense will take care of games for us,” Knight said. “We gave away 20 hits and four errors, so we definitely have to tighten up on defense.”
In Salisbury’s other game of the day, the Sea Gulls fell to Washington College to finish 2-2 during the Sea Gull Classic.