SALISBURY, Md. – Junior first baseman Harley Hill hit an inside-the-park home run in the opening contest between the No. 7 Salisbury University softball team and the University of Mary Washington as the Sea Gulls went on to sweep the Eagles in Capital Athletic Conference action 7-1 and 9-0 on Saturday afternoon.
After jumping out to a three-run lead over the Eagles in the bottom of the first inning, the Sea Gull offense came to a freeze as Mary Washington pitcher Hannah Otterman kept the Gulls off the scoreboard, allowing the Eagles a chance to close the gap.
Mary Washington (9-18, 1-3 CAC) earned a run in the top of the fourth, off the bat of Stephanie Asselanis, to bring the Eagles within two runs, but that would be as close as they would get before SU brought home four runs in the sixth inning off four hits.
After the Eagles collected two outs in the sixth, freshman third baseman Katie Sebbane would pick up the Sea Gulls momentum as she smoked a solo-shot over the left field fence to give the maroon and gold a 4-1 edge. Senior second baseman Carly Read's patience at the plate resulted in a free pass before pinch hitter Paige Knussman singled up the middle to put two runners on. Hill then sent a hard drive to left field that slipped under the glove of a sliding Hannah Williams and rolled to the left field corner to earn a home run, her first of the season, and plate SU's final three runs, 7-1. Hill went 3-for-6 with four RBIs and three runs scored.
Sophomore hurler Rachel Johnson earned the win in the circle with 12 strikeouts and one walk. Johnson did not give up an earned run while scattering seven hits to improve to 13-1.
The Sea Gulls' bats carried into the second game, again scoring three runs in the first inning. Senior center fielder Sarah Alpaugh started off the four-hit inning for the Sea Gulls with a single to right field and then scored off classmate Hannah Mills' single up the middle, 1-0. A sacrifice fly by Sebbane would plate SU's third run of the inning. Alpaugh went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored to lead the Sea Gulls.
Salisbury (22-2, 4-0 CAC) would see a third Sea Gull homer on the day as senior catcher Michelle Gravdahl hit a three-run blast to left field in the bottom of the third to give SU a 7-0 lead after Alpaugh doubled to the left field gap to earn an RBI, plating junior Angelia McDowell.
Junior pitcher Kathryn Larson picked up her third shutout on the season. The Frederick, Md., native had four strikeouts on the day and allowed just one Eagle hit.
SU went on to score three additional runs in the third inning to complete its scoring, 9-0.
Salisbury has hit eight home runs in its last eight contests.
The Sea Gulls will return to action tomorrow, Sunday, April 7 as they take on Washington (Md.) College at the SU Softball Field. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.