Crusaders Split on First Day in Maryland

Outfielder Kelsey Swain heads toward first base after contact against John Carroll in the OAC Tournament on May 4, 2013, at Clowson Field. (Andrea Kjerrumgaard photo).
Outfielder Kelsey Swain heads toward first base after contact against John Carroll in the OAC Tournament on May 4, 2013, at Clowson Field. (Andrea Kjerrumgaard photo).

 

The Capital University softball team defeated SUNY New Paltz (N.Y.) 8-3 before posting a valiant effort in a 7-2 setback against No. 3 Salisbury (Md.) Friday at the Salisbury Tournament in Salisbury, Md.

 

In the opener, Capital (7-3 overall) jumped on New Paltz for two runs in the first inning and didn't look back. Junior centerfielder Kelsey Swain (Pickerington, Ohio) led the offense with four hits, two runs scored and two runs batted in. Junior pitcher Brooke Billings (Clyde, Ohio) improved to 3-1 on the season, scattering eight hits while striking out four in the complete-game effort.

 

After Swain scored from third on an illegal pitch in the first inning, sophomore shortstop Therese Becker (South Euclid, Ohio) doubled to center with two outs to plate sophomore second baseman Brooklyn Staten (Grove City, Ohio).

 

Following a 1-2-3 third inning by Billings, the Crusaders added another two-out run as junior first baseman Maura Rose (Williamsport, Pa.) double down the left field line to score Swain, who hit an infield single to lead off the frame.

 

In the fourth, freshman designated player Marisa Koss (Ostrander, Ohio) doubled to start the frame and scored when freshman catcher Kat Boyer (Huber Heights, Ohio) reached on an error. Swain then singled with two outs to drive in sophomore right fielder Ashley Knowles (Canton, Ohio), who reached on a one-out base hit.

 

Koss added an RBI groundout in the bottom of the fifth to make it 6-0.

 

Billings ran into trouble in the sixth, but induced an inning-ending groundout with a runner in scoring position to limit the damage to two runs by the Hawks (1-4).

 

Capital picked up two insurance runs to regain its six-run lead in the bottom of the sixth on a run-scoring infield single by Swain and a sacrifice fly to right by junior left fielder LeAnna Cotton (Okeechobee, Fla.).

 

Against Salisbury (12-0), the Crusaders fell behind in the third inning as the Sea Gulls tallied four runs in the bottom of the third.

 

Swain drove home Boyer on a single through the left side to put Capital on the board with two outs in the top of the fifth. Salisbury, a fellow 2013 NCAA qualifier which reached the Division III World Series, tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the frame to take a 7-1 advantage.

 

Cotton led off the sixth with a shot to left field for her second home run of the season to bring the Crusaders within five.

 

Junior pitcher Alyssa Patznick (Newark, Ohio) took the loss to drop to 4-2 on the season. Swain, Boyer and sophomore third baseman Katlyn Simpson (Loudonville, Ohio) registered two hits apiece to lead the offense.

 

The Crusaders out-hit the Sea Gulls 7-6 in the affair, but Salisbury drew 11 walks.

 

Capital continues play at Salisbury tomorrow. The Crusaders take on New Paltz at 10 a.m., followed by a 12 p.m. contest against the Sea Gulls.