The Capital University softball team finished its 2014 season Saturday with consecutive setback at Ohio Northern in an Ohio Athletic Conference doubleheader at Ada, Ohio.
The Crusaders (21-19 overall, 5-13 OAC), who finished with their 16th straight season at 20 or more wins, fell 7-6 in the opener before dropping Game 2 by a 10-4 count.
In the first game, Capital led 6-5 entering the bottom of the seventh, when the Polar Bears (20-17, 12-6) tied the game with one out and scored the game-winner to walk off with two outs.
Sophomore right fielder Ashley Knowles (Canton, Ohio) posted three hits and a run scored for the Crusaders, who out-hit Ohio Northern 12-11 in the contest. Junior left fielder LeAnna Cotton (Okeechobee, Fla.), sophomore catcher Sarah Nist (North Canton, Ohio) and sophomore third baseman Katlyn Simpson (Loudonville, Ohio) added two hits apiece for Capital.
The Crusaders tallied four times in the top of the first with two outs, including a run-scoring single through the right side by Cotton and a two-run homer by Nist, her third of the year.
After the Polar Bears cut their deficit to 4-3 in the bottom half, Capital padded its lead in the second on an RBI groundout by junior centerfielder Kelsey Swain (Pickerington, Ohio).
Ohio Northern tied the game at 5-5 with two in the bottom of the fourth before the Crusaders responded in the top of the sixth on an infield single by Simpson. Capital was unable to tack on to its lead despite loading the bases with two outs.
The Polar Bears plated eight unanswered runs in the nightcap to take an 8-2 lead en route to the victory. Freshman pitcher Amber Martinelli (Pittsburgh, Pa.) took the loss to drop to 1-2 for the season, tossing the first 2 2/3 frames before Billings took over in relief.
Cotton and junior catcher Maura Rose (Williamsport, Pa.) each knocked in two runs for the Crusaders, who out-hit Ohio Northern 13-12 but left 10 runners on base. Simpson contributed with three hits and a run scored, while Nist and Swain collected two hits apiece.
Capital returns its entire roster for the 2015 season, when the team will seek a return to the OAC Tournament and look to compete for a conference championship.
Rose, Patznick, Swain, Cotton, Billings and infielder Emma Caputo (Columbus, Ohio) comprise next year's senior class.