Softball Splits Against First-Place Marietta

Softball Splits Against First-Place Marietta
Right fielder Ashley Knowles makes a throw against Baldwin Wallace on March 22, 2014, at Clowson Field. (Jeff Mills photo).

COLUMBUS – The Capital University softball team used solid pitching and timely hitting Thursday to earn a split in a pair of games against Marietta in an Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader at Clowson Field.


The Crusaders (17-15 overall, 4-10 OAC) won the opener 2-0 before the Pioneers took Game 2 by a 3-2 count in 10 innings after tying the game in the top of the seventh to extend the contest.


In the first game, junior pitcher Brooke Billings turned in one of her finest performances of the season and junior left fielder LeAnna Cotton (Okeechobee, Fla.) delivered with a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the third for the only runs of the affair.


Billings (7-7) retired the last 12 hitters she faced en route to a two-hit shutout, her second shutout and seventh complete game of the year. The Clyde, Ohio, native struck out seven and walked just two while holding Marietta (19-11, 10-4) hitless over the last three frames.


Cotton, who contributed with a fantastic diving catch in the top of the second with two on and nobody out, drove home sophomore right fielder Ashley Knowles (Canton, Ohio) and junior centerfielder Kelsey Swain (Pickerington, Ohio), who each singled earlier in the frame, with a blooper into shallow right field in the third.


Sophomore catcher Sarah Nist (North Canton, Ohio) posted the only other hit for Capital in the contest.


In the nightcap, the Crusaders led 2-0 heading into the top of the seventh as Knowles knocked in a pair with a two-out, two-run single up the middle in the bottom of the second.


Junior pitcher Alyssa Patznick (Newark, Ohio) left nine runners on base through the first six innings and struck out six in six-plus innings of work.


After the Pioneers registered back-to-back hits to start the seventh, Billings replaced Patznick, and Marietta tied the game on a one-out double to send the game into extra innings.


After Capital left runners on in the eighth and ninth frames, the Pioneers took the lead for good in the top of the 10th on another RBI double.


Freshman designated player Marisa Koss (Ostrander, Ohio) drew a two-out walk in the bottom half of the inning, but was left stranded.


Billings took the loss to drop to 7-8 for the year.


Sophomore second baseman Brooklyn Staten (Grove City, Ohio) tallied two hits to lead the Crusaders, who left 11 runners on base in the contest. Marietta left 14 on the base paths.


Capital closes its home slate tomorrow against John Carroll. First pitch of the OAC doubleheader is set for 1 p.m. at Clowson Field.