By JAMIR WILSON
Salisbury wrapped up a doubleheader against Averett University Tuesday, defeating the Cougars 5-4 and avenging the loss earlier in the day.
Averett took a three-run lead in the top of the third inning and seemed posed for another dominating victory.
The Sea Gulls countered immediately with a five-run inning that started off with successful stolen bases by senior outfielder Caitlin Lake and sophomore catcher Karlie Brenton. Junior outfielder LeAnne Collins brought them both home with a double to center field.
After junior infielder Annie Pietanza hit a double to center field bringing home Collins, freshman catcher Emily Allen hit a line drive shot that went over the wall for a home run.
“They brought in the relief pitcher and Emily [Allen] went boom,” SU head coach Margie Knight said. “It’s a good thing we have six-foot fences—an eight footer that wouldn’t have gone over, but that was out of here in a heartbeat so it was great we were able to battle back immediately.”
Over the last couple of games, Allen has become a centerpiece for the Sea Gull offense after excelling during the Sea Gull Classic at the plate and behind it.
“We hit the ball a lot better. We were communicating what the pitcher was doing and what we were seeing,” Allen said.
Despite only registering four hits, the Sea Gulls took advantage of their situations at the plate, accounting for all of their runs in the game in the third inning.
“Once one person hits the ball well, it goes back to everyone behind them and everyone gets fired up,” Allen said. “I think it’s just a matter of our fight and how we get each other pumped up—hitting the ball hard is what we need to do and we did it today.”
SU starting pitcher Shannon Powell moved her record to 2-0 after pitching seven complete innings. Powell gave up three runs in the third inning, but shut the Cougars down for the rest of the game.
The Sea Gulls’ pitching staff has struggled this season, so Powell giving the team a solid performance is a confidence builder.
“What we’re going to build off of is that Shannon gave up three runs that inning; they stole some bases and put some nice hits together, but she kept them in the park and they were low-line drives, which was good for us,” coach Knight said.
After surrendering ten hits to Averett in the previous game, Powell reduced the damage in the second meeting by giving up only six hits.
“I think we were more disciplined on both offense and defense, and Shannon threw a really nice game, she put us in a good position to win,” Collins said.
Losing to Averett 11-2 in the first game of the doubleheader and starting the second game down 3-0 could have been a recipe for disaster for the Sea Gulls.
“I think it shows that we’re tough, we’re not going to throw the towel in,” coach Knight said. “We understand we have things to work on and we’re persistent. We’re going to find a way to win, and we did that in the second game.”
The victory moves the Salisbury Sea Gulls to 5-7 on the season after the Tuesday doubleheader. Next up for the Gulls is the Salisbury Invitational on both Saturday and Sunday, where they host will Ursinus and New Paltz State.