By JAMIR WILSON
Featured photo: SU center fielder LeAnne Collins stands on-base. March 3. Emma Reider photo
Game No. 1: Salisbury University 9, Clarkson University 0 – Five innings
The Salisbury softball team’s offense continued their hot streak, defeating Clarkson 9-0 in five innings of play to start off Sunday action in the Salisbury University Softball Tournament. The Sea Gulls unloaded on the Golden Knights in the fourth inning, scoring five runs brought in by three doubles.
Overall, Salisbury accumulated 11 hits off of Clarkson’s pitching staff and took advantage of opportunities with runners in scoring position. The top of the Sea Gull batting order delivered as the 1-5 hitters accounted for all 11 of the hits.
SU sophomore shortstop Dakotah Fraley led the way going 3-for-3 from the plate including two doubles and three runs.
“I feel good, it’s really easy when everyone else is putting the bat on the ball,” Fraley said.
Matching Fraley with three hits of her own was SU second baseman Annie Pietanza, while center fielder LeAnne Collins and first baseman Kristen Yanarella both had two hits. The consistent and potent offense was tough to slow down.
“There’s a nice roll to it, everyone has each other’s back and it doesn’t make any one person feel too much pressure to perform,” Yanarella said.
The ace of the SU pitching staff, junior Shannon Powell continued her strong start to the season, holding Clarkson to no runs on four hits while striking out a season-high six batters. Her tone in the game was set in the very first inning.
“I felt like I came out a lot better than yesterday, was able to get three strikeouts in the first inning,” Powell said.
The win over Clarkson was the third-consecutive game with no runs allowed for the Sea Gull pitching staff and defense, outscoring teams 29-0 over the stretch, showing their strengths offensively and defensively.
The Sea Gull defense played well behind Powell whenever she did not strike out a batter.
“They played amazing, anything hit in the outfield I’m comfortable, and anything hit in the infield I’m comfortable, they’re very solid,” Powell said.
Freshman catcher Madeira Alexander also contributed to the win with one hit, a walk and a run scored. The win gave the Sea Gulls the sweep of Clarkson over the weekend after defeating them 12-0 on Saturday.
Game No. 2: Salisbury 10, Washington College 3
Finishing their final game of the weekend with a victory, the Sea Gull offense showed their explosiveness in the first inning, scoring three runs.
Washington College displayed fight, cutting the lead down to 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Collins led off the sixth inning with a home run that swung the momentum back for the Sea Gulls, not looking back from there.
“We bent a little bit, but we didn’t break so I thought that was very good,” SU Head Coach Margie Knight said.
Yanarella led with a strong performance at the plate, going 4-for-5 with five RBIs. The Sea Gulls have not been challenged much in the last five games, but when Washington College started their comeback attempt, the Sea Gulls were prepared.
“We really went back to our fundamentals,” Yanarella said. “Knowing that we work under pressure all the time at practice, so it’s not a new thing for us to face that type of pressure.”
Moving ten total runs across the plate, Salisbury tallied 13 hits in the batter’s box. In the two games against Washington over the weekend, Salisbury outscored the Shorewomen 18-3.
“13 hits and against very good pitching. I think Washington College has a really well-coached team,” Coach Knight said. “I think that’s going to help us as the time goes on and we have to face another lefty pitcher.”
Washington starting pitcher Rachel Butler came into the game with a 2-0 record, including only one earned run and a 0.70 ERA. The scorching Sea Gulls figured out the sophomore early on, as she surrendered 11 hits, three walked and six earned runs.
SU freshman pitcher Brea Bishop started the first game of her career and performed well, only allowing four hits and two runs.
“She did really well today especially as a freshman it’s really nerve-racking and having confidence is a huge deal,” Fraley said. “She has a lot of confidence and she’s focused, so that’s great.”
Fraley completed her perfect day from the plate, going 4-for-4 against Washington College after going 3-for-3 against Clarkson the game before.
“Obviously it’s a hope that I go in and get a hit every single time, I go up with a lot of confidence,” Fraley said.
Sophomore catcher Emily Allen posted three hits and drove home three runs. Alexander, Pietanza, and Collins combined to score six runs.
Washington’s Alaina DiPrimio carried the offense accounting for two of their four hits on the day and driving home their two runs.
Salisbury is riding a six-game winning streak, outscoring their opponents 50-4 over the stretch. They continue their home stand on Friday, hosting Lynchburg College in a double-header at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.