#11 CNU Sweeps Doubleheader on the Road vs #7 Salisbury

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SALISBURY, Md. -- In an early season showdown between nationally ranked regional opponents, the 11th ranked Christopher Newport Captains (5-3) came out on top against the seventh-ranked Salisbury University Sea Gulls (5-3). CNU swept the doubleheader on the road, winning 4-3 in the first game and 5-1 in game number two.

In the first game, Christopher Newport starter Melanie Hazelwood did a good job scattering three runs over the first four innings and then locked down the Sea Gulls offense for the final three frames. The CNU offense kept Hazelwood close with three runs in the third, but the score was still tied heading into the seventh inning.

Two quick groundouts looked to have CNU on the ropes in the top of the inning, but senior Jen Falin stepped in and blasted a solo home run over the left field wall to give CNU the lead, 4-3.

Hazelwood closed out the bottom of the inning for the complete game victory. She finished with three strikeouts and seven hits allowed. Offensively, Falin led the way, driving in three of the four runs including the game-winning homer in the final inning, going 2-3 from the plate. Sophomore Kelley Foate added an RBI and a run scored.

The Captains handed All-American senior pitcher Erika Brittingham just her fifth loss since the start of her junior year, with three of them coming to CNU. It was just the seventh loss of her entire career.

In game two, CNU called on Krista Townsend, the winning pitcher from last year's NCAA Regional Championship game played on the same field against the Sea Gulls, earning the Captains a trip to the NCAA National Championships.

CNU gave Townsend an early lead, with back-to-back doubles from Foate and Chelsea Mitchell to start the game and give CNU a 1-0 advantage.

Townsend looked extremely effective early, allowing just one hit and striking out four in the first three innings of work. Salisbury manufactured a run in the fourth to tie it up at one, with an RBI single from Hannah Mills. The CNU junior struck out two more in the inning though and continued to stay in control.

An RBI double from senior Felicia Price proved to be the eventual game-winner in the top of the sixth, and CNU tacked on three more in the seventh for the final,  5-1. Townsend gave way to Whitney Haller to close out the game in the seventh. She gave up a two-out single, but retired Sarah Alpaugh with a groundout for the final out.

Townsend pitched six innings and allowed just four hits and one run. She struck out nine and allowed two walks to pick up her second win of the season. Offensively, CNU got multi-hit games from Foate, Kristina McLaughlin and Sabrina Hill. The 1-5 batters in the lineup combined to go 8-15 with four RBI and all five runs scored.

CNU picks up two crucial wins over a nationally ranked opponent and improves to 5-3 overall this season. The Captains will return to Salisbury this weekend for the Sea Gull Invitational, where they will take on Arcadia University and Frostburg State University on Friday, March 9.