COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Softball played not one but two extra-inning games with Bluffton University at Clowson Field on Sunday afternoon. The Crusaders and Beavers played a total of 17 innings over the course of two games, and each team landed one win. Each team's game-winning run was scored as a result of an error on the play with Capital taking game one, and the visitors taking the nightcap.
GAME 1 – Bluffton 2, Capital 3 (F/8)
Senior Amber Martinelli (Alison Park, Pa./Hampton) went the distance for Cap and surrendered just two runs on seven hits while striking out six Bluffton hitters. The win improves her overall record to 14-7 on the season.
Capital overcame an early deficit with two runs in the fifth inning when junior Bailey Walter (Ashland, Ohio/Crestview) belted her sixth home run of the season. With a deep blast to center field, Walter plated pinch runner Hannah Martin who came in following Haleigh Luce's singles two batters prior. The homer marked Walter's third in the last six games dating back to April 17.
Bluffton responded with a solo home run by Brittany Huff to tie the game in the top of the sixth. After both teams went scoreless in the seventh, the international tiebreaker rule was initiated to help find a winner in extras.
In the bottom of the eight, Capital scored the game-winning run when Walter grounded to the Bluffton shortstop, Huff, but her throw was errant and allowed the speedy Pam Vickers to score from second, ending the game.
Capital finished the game with six hits from six different players. Bluffton stranded eight runners on base in the game.
GAME 2 – Bluffton 2, Capital 1 (F/9)
In a heated pitcher's duel between Capital sophomore Brianna Reardon (Fremont, Ohio/St. Joseph Central Catholic) and the Bluffton duo of Nicole Thomas and Jessie Madzia, it was an error that ended game two. This time, Bluffton benefited from a Capital miscue.
Bluffton advanced its free runner from second to third on a sacrifice. The next batter put another bunt down in front of the plate with the runner bearing down for home. Capital catcher Katherine Boyer came out to play the bunt but mishandled the ball while trying to make a play on the lead runner. Bluffton scored to take a 2-1 lead.
Capital also advanced its lead runner from second to third with a sacrifice in the bottom of the ninth. However, its next two batters both grounded out, ending the game.
Bluffton again scored first with a sac fly in the top of the second, and it took four inning for Capital to respond and tie the game. Sophomore Kristen Mellott (Clear Spring, Md./Clear Spring) plated Capital's lone run in the bottom of the sixth with a single up the middle, scoring Marisa Koss.
Reardon (L, 1-2) put forth the longest start of her career, going all nine innings. She struck out two, walked three, and gave up eight hits among the 38 batters she faced.
Capital has two home games left in its regular season, both against Ohio Northern University on Saturday, April 29. Capital will host its Strikeout Cancer benefit at the game while also honoring its six-woman senior class. Ohio Northern (9-7) is currently in fourth place but trails third-place Capital (10-6) by one game in the OAC standings. Games at Clowson Field will be played at 1 and 3 p.m.