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April 7, 2012 Salisbury Sweeps Mary Washington In Battle For First Place In Softball; Frostburg State Sweeps Stevenson To Tie UMW For Second Place

Defending champion Salisbury picked up a pair of road wins Saturday at Mary Washington in the battle of undefeated teams in CAC softball.  UMW went from a tie for first place with the Sea Gulls to a tie for second with Frostburg State, which moved up with a twinbill sweep against Stevenson.

The 20th-ranked Sea Gulls (25-5, 8-0 CAC) topped Mary Washington, 8-0 and 7-2, to extend their win streak to 15 games and take over the top spot in the standings.  FSU (16-12) held off visiting Stevenson, 6-4 and 12-1, to tie UMW (17-15), each with 6-2 conference records.

At Fredericksburg, Va., the Sea Gulls remained perfect in CAC play after sweeping the Mary Washington. The first game was decided in five innings, 8-0, while the second game went to the Gulls 7-2.  Salisbury (25-5, 8-0 CAC) scored two runs in the first inning of game one to take the lead off an Eagle error and then added another in the second inning off the bat of junior Sarah Alpaugh for a 3-0 lead.  Senior pitcher Erika Brittingham (14-3) worked quickly in the circle allowing only one hit and striking out six.

Freshman hurler Rachel Johnson (10-2) took the circle for game two, not allowing a hit in the first six innings before giving up two runs on five hits in the seventh. The Preston, Md., native struck out a career-high 14 batters. Salisbury scored at least one run in five of the seven innings, while Hannah Mills hit her ninth home run of the year in the top of the third inning, a two-run shot, giving the Sea Gulls a 3-0 lead.  Junior Michelle Gravdahl went 4-for-6, scoring once, while senior Casey Zaino went 3-for-7 with two RBIs on the day.

At Frostburg, Md., the Bobcats used the long ball in the first game and an eight-run first inning in game two to defeat Stevenson in a CAC doubleheader, 6-4 and 12-1.  Sophomore Caitlin Lovend hit the first of her two home runs in game one in the bottom of the first to stake the Bobcats to a 2-0 lead. Stevenson came back to take a 3-2 lead, but junior Shari Beavers brought home Lovend and sophomore Emilee Ray with a two-out single to swing the lead back in Frostburg's direction.  Up 4-3, Frostburg added two insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth with home runs by Lovend and Beavers. The pair have been on a tear this week. Both homered in each game of the Dickinson sweep on Thursday. In the first game on Saturday, both had two hits and three RBIs.

Game two didn't provide the same dramatic crescendo as the opener as the Bobcats batted around in the top of the first and scored eight runs. Frostburg loaded the bases to start without the ball going more than 10 feet from home plate. Junior Taylor Vandegrift and Ray each bunted for singles before Lovend was walked. Beavers' sacrifice fly to right was misplayed, allowing her to reach. Junior Megan Butzner then doubled home Lovend and Beavers.

Senior pitcher Jordan Wright and Vandegrift each drove in a run before Lovend capped the inning with a two-run single to left. Frostburg added two in the second on freshman Bailey Ellsworth's single and Vandegrift's single, and two more in the fourth on Vanegrift's groundout and Ray's infield single.  Vandegrift led the charge in game two with three hits, three RBIs and two runs scored.  Wright had a two-hitter in the fifth until the Mustangs managed to push a run across when they were down to their final out. She earned her 10th win of the season.