SALISBURY, Md. — No. 18 Salisbury collected two wins against Catholic on Tuesday afternoon. SU won the doubleheader with scores of 5-3 and 12-7, while Erika Brittingham hit her second home run of the week.
In game one, Catholic (13-7) looked to take the early lead with an aggressive play in the top of the second inning attempting to steal home, however, Salisbury played the steal well catching the player in a rundown and getting the out at home to keep the contest scoreless.
Salisbury (19-5) took the lead in the bottom of the second inning, taking advantage of a bases loaded situation created by Casey Zaino’s and Lindsay Brown’s singles along with Molly Gigioli’s hit by pitch. The first run of the inning was scored due to a Cardinal fielding error, allowing Zaino to touch home and Carly Read to beat the throw to first, keeping the bases loaded. Sarah Alpaugh was hit by a pitch to earn an RBI, allowing Brown to cross home and maintain runners on all bases. With one out, Brittingham hit her first sacrifice fly of the season, bringing Gigioli home and giving the Gulls a 3-0 edge going into the third inning.
SU would further its lead to 5-0 until the Cardinals managed three runs in the top of the sixth inning off of two homers from Amy Laughner and Taylor Stockinger, closing the gap to 5-3. The Gulls defense, however, kept any additional runs from crossing home plate to earn the narrow victory.
Brittingham (11-3) earned the win in the circle going all seven innings for the Sea Gulls. The senior fanned 10 batters while allowing three runs on four hits. The senior also went 2-for-5 on the day at the plate with three RBIs, two runs scored, and one home run.
Game two saw a similar start as Salisbury took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning off Brittingham’s two-run blast, her third of the year, but the tides quickly changed as the Cardinals jumped to a 3-2 lead the next inning.
The Sea Gulls would even the score at 3-3 by the way of a stolen base. Lindsay McCabe began the play by attempting to steal second, drawing the Catholic defense to throw to second base while Zaino, who was on third, stole home, sliding to avoid the tag.
Rachel Johnson (7-2) got the start but was relieved in the top of the second inning by Kathryn Larson. Larson kept the Cardinals off the bases until Taylor Stockinger hit her second homer of the day, allowing Catholic to retake the lead. Brittingham then took to the circle where she struck out three while allowing two runs on two hits.
The contest would remain a battle as the score remained in Catholic’s favor while the Gulls chipped away. Zaino drove home Hannah Mills and Brittingham in the fifth to cut the lead to 7-6 before SU’s bats erupted in the bottom of the sixth inning, scoring six runs off three hits. Michelle Gravdahl came up with the big hit of the inning, a two-run double to center field, scoring Alpaugh and Read to give Salisbury the final lead change of the day.
Johnson, who re-entered in the top of the sixth inning, pitched a perfect seventh inning to end the game 12-7, earning her seventh win of the season with five strikeouts, one walk, and three runs off five hits.
Gravdahl ended the day going 3-for-6 at the plate with two doubles and two RBIs while Zaino went 2-for-2 at the plate along with three walks.