Softball team falls to Tigers
Salisbury was able to contain the hot-hitting Northwestern Lehigh lineup through much of last Wednesday’s softball game. Eventually, the Lady Tigers began to chip away and put a few runs on the board for a 6-2 win over the Lady Falcons (3-5 overall, 3-5 Colonial).
Even down late in the game, a young Salisbury team looked to do some damage, but fell short.
Northwestern (8-2, 6-1) put a run on the board in the first inning on back-to-back doubles and then relied on senior pitcher Emily Akelaitis, who got a lot tougher after giving up a leadoff single to Peyton Stauffer. Stauffer went to second on the single when the ball was misplayed in right field and then moved to third on a fly ball by Emily Silberman.
After Stauffer’s single, Akelaitis settled in and retired the next nine batters, including eight in a row on strikeouts.
After the Tigers put a second run on the board in the third and two more in the fourth, Salisbury looked to strike back when Silberman worked a walk to lead off the bottom of the fourth. One out later, Sara Lamana singled to left to put runners on first and second. Gretchen Helsel then ripped a single through the middle to score Silberman and make it a 4-1 game. After a walk to Julia Graver that loaded the bases, Akelaitis was able to settle in to get the final two outs of the inning.
“Last game we had 16 hits but when we beat Northern Lehigh, we only had two, so it’s up and down,” said Salisbury head coach Jeff Appleman. “When we get people on base, we have to drive them in and we didn’t. It really is a great group. They battle and we’re right there. We just didn’t get enough today.”
The Tigers stretched it to 6-1 in the fifth and Salisbury continued to struggle at the plate before looking to rally in the seventh. With one out, sophomore Katherine Lovelidge walked and moved to second on a wild pitch. Fellow sophomore Krystal Aungst beat out a ground ball for an infield single to put runners on first and third. Stauffer then singled to right to make it 6-2, but again, Akelaitis regained her footing and got the final two outs.
“The young kids battled there at the end, with the freshmen and sophomores being the ones that did things,” said Appleman. “Stauffer is a senior and she had a big hit, but the others were freshmen and sophomores. We were a little flat at times, but we came back and battled at the end. We left people on base – we could have had that one – but we have to be patient. Northwestern is good, but they’re not much better than us. They just made more plays.”
Stauffer had two of the five Salisbury hits in the game and Silberman allowed six runs through seven innings, striking out nine and allowing just two walks.
“Emily keeps us in games, but we have to help her out,” Appelman said. “We have a lot of girls who are young and they don’t play tournament ball, so they don’t have a lot of experience. We make some mistakes. There were a couple balls that technically weren’t errors, but they should have been caught and then a couple plays where we made a catch but didn’t follow through with a quick throw to get a runner.”
The loss opened a rough patch for the Falcons, who have now lost three straight games to formidable opponents in Northwestern, Palmerton (9-1, 8-1) and Bangor (7-3, 7-1).
Of Salisbury’s five losses this season, the last four have been by a combined 10 runs, including losing a couple of one-run games to Wilson (7-3, 5-3) and Bangor, both by 6-5 scores.
The schedule has Salisbury hosting Catasauqua (0-8, 0-6) Wednesday afternoon before nonconference games at Allen (1-7, 0-7 EPC) and Dieruff (2-5, 1-5 EPC).