WESTERVILLE, Ohio – The Capital University softball team split a two game set against cross-town rival Otterbein on Monday afternoon, coming up short in a 9-7 loss in game one, followed by a 12-5 victory in the night cap.
A double header which was originally scheduled to be played this past Saturday was postponed until Monday afternoon, following inclement weather which created poor field conditions.
Capital fell behind 4-0 to Otterbein in the first inning, before responding with one run in the second and a six-run fourth inning. However, the Crusaders then recorded three straight scoreless innings offensively, eventually falling 9-7 in seven innings.
Junior first baseman Maura Rose (Williamsport, Pa.) tallied the Crusaders first run of the game in the top half of the second inning, connecting on a solo homerun down the leftfield line.
Two innings later, with the Crusaders trailing 8-1, Capital put together a six-run fourth inning, as timely hitting proved to be a major factor for a big offensive inning.
Freshman right fielder Marisa Koss (Ostrander, Ohio) powered another Capital homerun to leftfield, while sophomore designated player Ashley Knowles (Canton, Ohio) drove in classmate and shortstop Therese Becker (South Euclid, Ohio) on a single through the right side.
Two batters later, junior center fielder Kelsey Swain (Pickerington, Ohio) singled up the middle and advanced to second on a throwing error, scoring pinch runner in sophomore Katie Hurst (Macedonia, Ohio) and fellow sophomore catcher Sarah Nist (North Canton, Ohio).
Sophomore third baseman Katlyn Simpson (Loudonville, Ohio) then reached first on an error by the Cardinals second baseman, scoring Swain and Knowles in the process, narrowing the Crusaders deficit to 8-7.
The Crusaders scoring run was then halted for the remainder of the game, as Otterbein tacked on an additional insurance run in the bottom half of the sixth inning, taking game one of the double header.
Junior pitcher Alyssa Patznick (Newark, Ohio) recorded just her third loss of the season, exiting the game after 2 1/3 innings pitched. Classmate Brooke Billings (Clyde, Ohio) entered the game in the second inning, finishing the outing in relief with 3 2/3 innings pitched, allowing just one run on four hits, striking out one Cardinal batter.
Knowles, Rose, and Swain each had two hits apiece, going a combined 6-10 at the plate, while also collecting four of Capital's seven runs driven in.
In the second game, Capital trailed 3-0 after one inning, while Becker cut the deficit to 3-1 following a solo homerun.
Billings then settled in as the second inning unfolded, sending down the Cardinals in short order, setting up another major offensive outburst for the Crusaders one inning later.
The Crusaders half of the third inning featured sophomore designated player Brooklyn Staten (Grove City, Ohio) and Swain reaching base and then scoring on a three-run home run to left centerfield by junior left fielder LeAnna Cotton (Okeechobee, Fla.).
With a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom half of the third inning, Otterbein managed to plate the tying run, while neither team scored in either half of the fourth inning. Capital then exploded for four runs in the fifth inning and three additional runs in the sixth inning, inflating its lead to 11-4, all while holding the Cardinals scoreless over that span.
Both teams tallied one-run apiece in the final inning, as the Crusaders salvaged a split in the second game of the twin bill.
Billings led the Crusaders in a strong performance on the mound, tossing a complete game in seven innings, striking out seven batters and walking just one, while allowing five runs, only three of them earned.
Cotton was the offensive force for Capital in game two, posting three runs batted in and scoring one run herself, all in a 2-5 performance at the plate.
Swain also continued her stellar day at the plate, recording three more hits in five at-bats, scoring two runs and driving in another, while Rose went a solid 2-4 from the plate. A total of four Crusader players tallied at least two hits for the game, with Staten and Swain notching three hits apiece.
Capital (13-7 overall, 2-2 OAC) is now set to return home tomorrow for a double header against Muskingum beginning at 3 p.m. at Clowson Field.