NEW CONCORD, Ohio – A total of 18 innings were played at Donna J. Newberry Field and each team took away one win in Wednesday afternoon's softball doubleheader between Capital University and Muskingum University. Game one took 11 innings to complete but landed Cap a 4-3 win, but the hosts rebounded in game two to force a split.
GAME 1 – Capital 4, Muskingum 3 (F/11)
Four extra innings were needed to find a winner in game one and sophomore Kristen Mellott (Clear Spring, Md./Clear Spring) ended it in the 11th frame with her fourth hit and second run-scoring hit of the game. In each of the four extra innings, Capital placed runners in scoring position but only in the 11th were they able to plate a run. Per the trend of the game, Capital landed a clutch two-out, run-scoring base hit to put them up 4-3. Junior Haleigh Luce (Greenville, Ohio/Greenville) led the inning off with a single through the left side and then her pinch runner, Sierra Sanchez, swapped places with junior Pam Vickers on a fielder's choice. Vickers advanced to second on a ground out to the pitcher prior to freshman Morgan Fadel drawing a walk to put two on with two out. Mellott stepped to the plate and drove a 2-1 pitch up the middle, allowing Vickers to score from second.
Capital pitcher Amber Martinelli (Alison Park, Pa./Hampton) took to the circle to shut down the Muskies, though not without a fight. Muskingum knocked out two base hits, but the senior struck out two batters and induced a lineout to Sarah Jasinski at second base to end the game.
Martinelli (W, 10-6) ended the game with six strikeouts and just one walk over her 11 innings of work. Muskingum sprinkled nine hits over that time, and all three of its runs were unearned.
Muskingum drew first blood by taking advantage of an error committed on the leadoff hitter, Cassie Thomas. She later came around to score after a passed ball put her in scoring position and a base hit by Krissy Hughes brought her home. The hosts plated two more in the second inning, again using an error on the leadoff hitter to its benefit with Abigail Orr and Thomas driving home the second and third runs.
Capital answered in the top of the third inning when Fadel cracked an RBI double to left center field. Fadel later scored to make for a one-run game with a run-scoring single by senior Marissa Koss.
Junior Bailey Walter (Ashland, Ohio/Crestview) accounted for Capital's tying run when she hit a one-out double in the fifth inning. Mellott stepped back up to the plate and with two outs, recorded the second of her team-leading four base hits on the day. This hit tied the game, 3-3.
Mellott recorded her first four-hit game of her career, also marking a single-game career high. She also notched two RBIs in her five plate appearances.
Koss recorded her third three-hit game of the year behind a 3-for-6 effort at the dish.
GAME 2 – Capital 2, Muskingum 6
Leading 2-1 heading into the sixth inning, Muskingum landed a big five-run sixth inning to propel them to a 6-2 victory over Capital and cause a split in Wednesday's action.
Capital scored first when Mellott earned her third RBI of the day, this time the easy way. With the bases loaded, Haylea Debolt walked Mellott to allow the first run of the game to score. In the following inning, Capital added one more when Chevonne Hayslett roped a single to right center, which scored Jasinski after she reached on an error.
Muskingum halved the lead in the fourth, but recorded five runs in the sixth to guide them to the win. Freshman pitcher Kayla Wild had done well through the first five innings, retiring 15 of 18 batters prior to the inning's start. However, after retiring batter number 16 Muskingum recorded back-to-back singles leading up to a two-run base knock by Debolt. Wild left the game with two runners on for sophomore Brianna Reardon. Her first batter, Rachael Eberling, cranked out a three-run homer over the fence in left to account for the remaining runs and give the Muskies a 6-2 lead.
Capital was unable to answer in the seventh and went down in order to end the game.
Wild (7-2) took the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits. She retired Muskingum in order in each of the first three innings of the game and then again in the fifth before its big inning.
Four of Capital's eight hits came from Hayslett and Vickers at the bottom of the lineup. Combined, they went 4-for-6 with one RBI.
Capital is now 18-10 overall and possesses a 6-4 record in OAC play. They will take that mark into action against the University of Mount Union, at home, on Friday, April 14. The Purple Raiders and Crusaders will play two at Clowson Field beginning at 1 p.m.