No. 10 Marlins knock off No. 2 Salisbury in twinbill split

No. 10 Marlins knock off No. 2 Salisbury in twinbill split

VIRGINIA BEACH -- Two days after knocking off one of the nation's top five teams, the Virginia Wesleyan College Marlins did it again.

Tenth-ranked Virginia Wesleyan used a two-run sixth inning Tuesday to take the lead en route to a 3-1 victory over No. 2 ranked Salisbury University, pinning the first loss of the season on the Sea Gulls. It was the second victory over one of the Capital Athletic Conference's top teams, as the Marlins pinned an 8-2 loss on Christopher Newport University on Sunday.

Both victories helped the Marlins (4-2) to record splits in the non-conference doubleheaders.  Salisbury (3-1) eked out a 1-0 decision in Tuesday's opener, scoring the only run of the game in the top of the sixth inning without the benefit of a hit.

Junior Mary Shipp (Virginia Beach/First Colonial)helped secure the Marlins' victory over the Gulls, as she pitched six innings and scattered four hits.  She struck out four batters and walked just one. Senior Kristina Karagiorgis (Ashburn/Briarwoods) finished off the Gulls with one inning in the pitching circle, facing the final three batters and striking out one.

Virginia Wesleyan snapped a 1-1 tie with a two-run sixth inning, which included a pitching change by the Sea Gulls.  All-American pitcher Rachel Johnson (Preston, Md./Colonel Richardson), ranked fourth in the nation last year in total strikeouts, entered in relief of starter Annah Brittigham (Pocomoke, Md./Pocomoke). But, the Marlins responded with back-to-back singles from juniors Courtney Bogan (Round Hill/Woodgrove) and Kayla Dost (Bristow/Nokesville Brentsville). Consecutive Salisbury errors helped score both runs.

Brittingham started and pitched five innings, allowing three hits, walking four, and striking out one before Johnson entered and faced the Marlins' final six batters.

VWC outhit Salisbury 5-4, including singles from junior Kayla Malkos (Roanoke/Cave Spring), sophomore Liz Bailey (Chesapeake/Greenbrier Christian), and rookie Allison Heitsman (Littleton, Colo./D'Evelyn).  Salisbury also connected for singles, including one each by Rebecca Hoey (Bound Brook, N.J./Bound Brook) and Brittingham that combined to help score the Gulls' only run of the game in the second inning. Malkos and Bailey both singled for VWC in the bottom of the inning to provide the run that tied the game.

Virginia Wesleyan outhit Salisbury 4-2 in the opener.  Junior Taylor Galvin (Virginia Beach/Kempsville), sophomore Blake Henderson (Virginia Beach/Ocean Lakes), Bogan and Bailey all singled for the Marlins.

Katie Sebbane (Frederick, Md./Urbana) and Rachel Spadin (Princess Anne, Md./Salisbury Christian) produced the only singles for Salisbury.  But, the Sea Gulls found a run in the top of the sixth, using an error, sacrifice bunt, walk, and a fielders' choice.

Karagiorgis pitched all seven innings for the Marlins and struck out seven batters.  She walked two and allowed just the two hits.  Johnson pitched for Salisbury and struck out nine, walked two, and gave up four hits.

Virginia Wesleyan returns to competition in the Roanoke Valley Softball Bash beginning on Friday, March 13.  The Marlins take on Maryland's Frostburg State University at 10 a.m.