CLERMONT, Fla.— The Capital University Softball team wrapped up play in the 2015 Spring Games on Friday. The day featured two game against familiar opponents, Houghton College (0-6) and Alma College (4-6). The Crusaders showed grit as they trailed in both games, only to answer with runs when they were needed most.
Game 1 vs. Houghton College – W, 10-3
Capital and Houghton struggled to hit the ball early, resulting in only one hit in the first two innings. The Highlanders started the hitting when Carolin Strasswim singled up the middle. After the next batter was hit by a pitch, Adrean Tiffany doubled to centerfield to score Strasswim from third.
With the bases loaded, another run was scored when Houghton's batter hit by a pitch. The Highlanders added to their lead when Bailey Shattell singled to the shortstop, sending Georgianna Stoj across home plate.
Capital began to heat up in the bottom of the fourth inning when senior pitcher Alyssa Patznick (Newark, Ohio) slapped a double to the left-field gap to send fellow teammates Marisa Koss (Ostrander, Ohio) and Sarah Jasinski (Englewood, Ohio) in for the scores. Freshman shortstop Julia Jennings (Dover, Ohio) tied the game with a center field shot to score Bailey Walter (Ashland, Ohio) from second base.
It seemed as though Capital took total control of the game with one swing of the bat when Kelsey Swain (Pickerington, Ohio) hit the ball to right field to round the bases, stopping at third. Brooklyn Staten (Grove City, Ohio) was next in the lineup, scoring Swain with a hit to the left field. The inning was capped off with a Maura Rose (Williamsport, Pa.) RBI to bring Capital's lead to 5-3.
In the bottom of the sixth inning and two Crusaders on base, LeAnna Cotton (Okeechobee, Ohio) brought in two runs with a double before she advanced to third base on the throw. The scoring couldn't have ended any better as Koss recorded her second home run of the season.
Overall, Capital hit the ball well, finishing with 16 hits, while the Highlanders registered three. The Crusaders held another big advantage in RBIs with 10, compared to Houghton's two.
Amber Martinelli (Allison Park, Pa.) recorded her first career win at pitcher. The sophomore pitcher had two strikeouts and allowed only one hit.
Game 2 vs. Alma College – W, 7-6
In its third game against Alma, the Crusaders once again showed fight, overcoming a late two-run deficit. Capital appeared to take control With a four run, three hit third inning, but the Scots had weren't planning on going down quietly as they answered with three runs in the bottom of the third.
Alma jumped in front in the bottom of the fourth inning as Kayla Merice singled. The ball took an Alma bounce, going by the centerfielder. Before Capital could get the ball in the infield, two runners scored. The Scots big plays continued when Lea Lusk doubled down the left line, scoring Merice from second base. The runs built Alma a 6-4 lead.
Capital's deficit was cut to one in the top of the sixth inning when Jennings singled up the middle to score senior pitcher Brooke Billings (Clyde, Ohio).
Opportunities were running out for the Crusaders until Cotton stepped to the plate in the top of the seventh inning. The utility player found the left-field gap, reaching second. Jasinski entered the game to pinch run for Cotton. After a single from Rose, the sophomore rounded third base before sliding home, with her left hand running over the plate as the catcher was making a play on the infield throw.
Jennings recorded a huge hit down the left line to send Bailey Walter in for the game-winning run.
Rose, Patznick, and Jennings paced the Crusaders, recording hits apiece. Rose and Jennings each also recorded two RBIs.
Patznick received the win, bringing her record to 4-0. The senior allowed no runs on her way to striking out five batters.
Capital takes a break from action before traveling to Salisbury, Md. to compete in the Salisbury University Tournament in two weeks. It's first game will against Rutgers-Camden on Friday, March 13 at 11 a.m.