By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
HANOVER, Ind. – On Saturday afternoon, Capital University Softball was delivered two losses on the road courtesy of Hanover College (Ind.). Capital's struggles in the circle continued after the team allowed 22 runs in its doubleheader with the Panthers.
GAME 1 - Capital 7, Hanover 13
Hanover did not waste any time in welcoming the Crusaders to Kops-Bedel Stadium. The Panthers scored five runs in the first inning after Brianna Reardon allowed a leadoff walk, RBI triple and run-scoring single in succession to open the game. Two more base knocks, including a two-run double, extended Hanover's lead and put Cap in a hole early.
Despite Capital getting on the board in the second via an Erica Ogden single, the Panthers answered with four more runs in the bottom of the third. All four runs were scored with two outs when Mackenzie Smith singled and all three runners on base scored following a fielding error by Bailey Walter.
Capital scored four runs in the sixth to make it 9-5 contest, but Hanover once again replied with a big inning in the home half. Alyx Slusher posted two runs on a double to right center field and two batters later Kristen Mellott sent a two-bagger to right field, scoring another pair.
Another two-out rally allowed Hanover to seal the victory with four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Ogden, Walter, Mellott, and Cory Mangen all recorded two hits in the loss. Erica Ogden was credited with three RBIs. Reardon (L, 2-8) took the loss while her counterpart, Sydney Griffin (W, 7-1) struck out six Crusaders.
GAME 2 - Capital 2, Hanover 9
The top of the Hanover lineup had a day in the batter's box while Capital mustered just six hits, all coming from different players, in a 9-2 loss in the nightcap.
Hanover scored three times in the bottom of the second to set the tone with RBI hits coming from Rachel Cox and Dabney Skutt at the top of the lineup. Capital closed the gap in the top of the fourth with RBI singles from Haleigh Luce and Chevonne Hayslett, but the momentum quickly shifted after the Panthers put forth a second three-run inning in their next at-bat.
Capital twice had the bases loaded with a chance to creep closer to the hosts late in the game, but each of those opportunities was thwarted with an inning-ended strikeout.
Lily Beurman (W, 3-3) earned the win after 4.1 innings of work for the Panthers, while Hayslett (L, 0-2) was dinged with all nine Hanover runs in the loss.
Capital will not get much rest with their next games coming on Monday, March 19. The Crusaders will host Thomas More College in their home opener at Clowson Field with the first pitch coming at 3:00 p.m.