By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
WILMINGTON, Ohio – Capital University Softball battled the Fightin' Quakers of Wilmington College in its road doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon. The Purple and White were not short on runs but the Quakers twice rallied in their final at-bat with the bottom of the order to turn down the Crusaders in both games. Wilmington defeated Capital 9-7 and 7-6 at the Wilmington College Softball Complex.
GAME ONE - Capital 7, Wilmington 9
Capital's offense was not lacking and the Crusaders also cashed in on three Wilmington errors, but with one final surge by the Quakers in the bottom of the sixth the hosts took the lead for the last time and held off the Purple and White for a 9-7 win.
Wilmington scored the game's first runs when a leadoff walk, stolen base, passed ball, and wild pitch allowed Savannah Hooper to travel all the way around the bases without a hit being tallied. A second wild pitch by Capital starting pitcher Brianna Reardon (L, 5-16) allowed another run to cross the plate and allow the Quakers to gain a 2-0 lead.
Capital not only leveled the scored by took a two-run lead with a four-run second inning. With the bases loaded, Chevonne Hayslett (Miamisburg, Ohio/Miamisburg East) plated Cap's first run with a single and was followed up with ribbies by Pam Vickers via a fielder's choice and a two-run single by freshman Alyx Slusher (Rockford, Ohio/Parkway).
With a 4-2 lead in hand, Wilmington battled back with a four-run inning of its own in the bottom of the fourth. It marked the first of three consecutive innings the Quakers went on to score.
Down 7-4 heading into the top of the sixth, Hayslett got back into a groove with a double that scored pinch hitter Cory Mangen (Clayton, Ohio/Northmont) from second. Cap then loaded the bases to which Morgan Fadel drove in a run via a sacrifice fly that allowed all runners to tag up. A fielding error by Wilmington second baseman Alecia Kemp allowed Cap to tie the game, but Slusher was thrown out at home while trying to score the go-ahead run.
Wilmington then mounted a two-out rally to go up two runs in the top of the seventh by way of a Jillia Cook double and RBI singles by KenDahl Bowles and Megan Crager. Grace Shell (W, 6-5) turned down Capital in the bottom of the seventh to close out the game.
GAME TWO - Capital 6, Wilmington 7
The same part of the Wilmington batting order that gave the Quakers a win in game one came through in game two, delivering the hosts a 7-6, walk-off victory.
Wilmington took a 6-4 lead with its three-run fifth inning but the Crusaders were quick to retaliate in the top of the sixth. With runners at second and third, Morgan Fadel singled to left field, though pinch runner Veronica Zack was thrown out at third. A single by Hayslett and another Wilmington error allowed Capital to load the bases with two outs for Slusher, who drilled a game-tying single, however, the Crusaders were unable to plate the go-ahead run.
Capital stranded runners on second and third in their half of the seventh, setting the table for a Wilmington walk-off victory in the seventh. With two outs, Bowles singled and was followed by a walk to place two runners on for Crager, the same hitter who in game one helped acquired a late lead. Crager then hit a double that scored Bowles, the winning run, from second base.
Slusher and Mangen each finished 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs. Hayslett and Luce also joined them with two hits. Hayslett (L, 1-8) did double duty by pitching the entire game and took the loss, while Beth Persicano (W, 5-8) earned the win.
The loss extends Capital's losing streak to 12 games as they prepare for a quick turnaround. The Crusaders (6-24, 2-10 OAC) will take on rival Otterbein on Wednesday, April 18 at the Otterbein Softball Complex in Westerville, Ohio. Game one will begin at 3 p.m.