By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
ALLIANCE, Ohio – Capital University Softball concluded the 2018 season with a doubleheader at 23rd Street Field with the University of Mount Union. The Crusaders went out with a fight and earned a win in game two to end the season on a high note.
GAME ONE - Capital 7, Mount Union 8
Capital took advantage of an early error when leadoff hitter Pam Vickers (Sagamore Hills, Ohio/Nordonia) reached on an outfield miscue. She later scored from third when Cory Mangen (Clayton, Ohio/Northmont) reached on a bunt single two batters later.
Mount Union responded in the bottom of the third with three runs against Capital starting pitcher Brianna Reardon, and then added another run to its lead in the fourth. Down 4-2, Capital regained the lead with a three-run fifth inning with run-scoring extra-base hits by Mangen, Bailey Walter (Ashland, Ohio/Crestview) and Morgan Fadel (Broadview Heights, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview).
The bottom of the fifth brought forth the difference-making inning when Capital went to the bullpen and the Purple Raiders welcomed Chevonne Hayslett (Miamisburg, Ohio/Miamisburg East) by marking her up for four runs. Jenna Liles recorded a two-run single and later scored on a groundout to Vickers at short.
Now with an 8-5 lead, Capital needed to generate some late offense. The Crusaders put two runners on in the top of the seventh and with one out senior Haleigh Luce (Greenville, Ohio/Greenville) roped a run-scoring single to center field. Fadel then followed with a groundout to the right side scoring pinch runner Veronica Zack and make a one-run game, 8-7. With two outs, Mount Union pitcher Shelby Vansickle walked Brianna Tucker to put runners on the corners but then exited the tough situation by striking out Hayslett to end the game.
Cory Mangen finished the game 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Fadel also recorded two ribbies in the loss.
GAME TWO - Capital 4, Mount Union 3
Capital's fortunes changed in the second game and runs coming in the latter innings helped them wrap up the season with a win and the team's third in four games.
Mount Union struck first when a two-out walk plus a wild pitch set the table for a run-scoring single by Cheyenne Miller.
Capital took the lead when the combination of Walter and Fadel combined to score a pair of runs. Another Mount Union error helped Capital get into position to take the lead and it was Walter's groundout to short that allowed Mangen to score and Fadel's single to right field that later scored pinch runner Hannah Martin.
With a 2-1 lead, Cap then added two more to its lead in the top of the sixth with three consecutive hits from the middle of the order. Kristen Mellott led the inning off with a single and then Walter followed with a double to put two runners into scoring position. Luce roped an RBI single to center field and then two batters later Tucker hit a fly ball deep enough to score Walter from third.
Capital entered the bottom half of the inning with a 4-1 lead, but the Purple Raiders were not ready to go down without a last word. Hayslett, who earned the nod in game two, surrendered two runs in the sixth but despite five base hits was able to turn down Mount Union before the rally got out of control. She forced Emily Hume to ground out back to her in the circle to record the final out and head to the seventh. From there, Hayslett put together a 1-2-3 seventh inning to close the book on the Purple Raiders and win their final game of the season.
Hayslett (W, 2-12) went the distance and gave up just three runs on nine hits to earn the win.
Mangen, Mellott and Walter all had two hits apiece in game two with all four RBIs going to different Crusaders.