By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
GAMBIER, Ohio – Capital University Softball fell to 6-18 overall after a pair of nonconference losses to Kenyon College on Monday afternoon. Capital nearly pulled away with a victory in game one but lost a late lead in a 5-4 decision, then dropped game two, 6-3. Alyx Slusher hit her first career home run and had a three-hit performance in the game two loss.
GAME ONE - Capital 4, Kenyon 5
Capital took a three-run lead into the bottom of the seventh inning, but the Ladies of Kenyon mounted a rally in their final at-bat and landed a two-out, walk-off base hit to steal a victory from the grasps of the Crusaders.
Capital scored first with one run in each of the first two innings. Sophomore Cory Mangen (Clayton, Ohio/Northmont) hit a two-out double in the first and was driving home by Kristen Mellott (Clear Spring, Md.), who equaled that at the plate.
A pair of errors helped Kenyon level the scored after one inning of play, but Capital was quick to regain the lead in the second. A one-out walk to Chevonne Hayslett (Miamisburg, Ohio/Miamisburg East) put the go-ahead run on base and when sophomore Morgan Fadel (Broadview Heights, Ohio//Brecksville-Broadview) drove a liner in the gap in right center field, Hayslett sped around the diamond for the score.
Fadel scored in a later at-bat when after recording her second hit of the game was driven home from third with a groundout to the right side by Mangen. With a 3-1 lead, Capital added another run in the sixth when Mangen roped a two-out double just before Mellott's run-scoring single through the left side of the infield.
After the Ladies' lone run in the first inning, Brianna Reardon (Fremont, Ohio/St. Joseph Central Catholic) cruised and allowed just one runner to advance beyond second base through six innings of work. Four of the Ladies' 10 hits came in the decisive seventh. After three singles were hit in succession to load the bases, Reardon walked home one run to make the game 4-2 with one out. The three hitter, Emily Buckwalter, grounded out to the left side and was one out away from the win, but Lauren Graf hit a two-RBI single into right allowing both of the remaining runners to score and complete Kenyon's comeback victory.
Eight of Capital's nine hits came from two-hit performances from four different Crusaders. Mangen, Mellott, Fadel, and Pam Vickers all left game one with two hits each, and all but Vickers had at least one run batted in.
Austen Whibley (W, 2-1) took the win despite walking seven Capital batters and allowing nine hits. Reardon (L, 5-12) tossed 6.2 innings, allowed five runs (4 ER), and struck out two while giving up 10 hits in the loss.
GAME TWO - Capital 3, Kenyon 6
Kenyon came out attacking early with all but one of its six runs being scored with less than two outs, and with two big innings, the Ladies were able to complete the sweep over Capital in a 6-3 win in game two.
Capital again scored first using a Kenyon error and a two-out single by freshman Alyx Slusher (Rockford, Ohio/Parkway) in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead.
The Ladies took the lead for the first time when a pair of walks to lead off the third inning set the table for a base-clearing triple by Grace Finn. Finn later scored when she beat the tag on a play at the plate, but instead increase the hosts' lead to 3-1.
Slusher made some fireworks happen at the KC Softball Complex with her first career home run to cut into the lead. Mellott followed up with a one-out single. Pinch runner Veronica Zack then stole second and after moving to third with two outs scored on a wild pitch by Kenyon pitcher Keely Sweet.
All tied at 3-3, the Ladies were quick to take back to the lead with a pair of run-scoring doubles by Buckwalter and Juliana Delsante. Capital was unable to score in the sixth while Kenyon posted another run by way of a Nicole Horita home run, and then put the tying run at the plate in the seventh but failed to score.
Haylette (L, 1-6) took the loss after surrendering six runs, all earned, on seven hits and three walks while Sweet (W, 9-8) earned the win.
Slusher had a three-hit day with two RBIs to lead the Crusaders in game two, which marked the first three-hit contest of her career.
Capital will have a short turnaround in order to prepare for its long-awaiting doubleheader with Marietta College on Tuesday afternoon. It will serve as the second doubleheader in a set of three straight for Capital. Game time between the Pioneers and Crusaders is set for 3 p.m. at Clowson Field.