By: Ryan Gasser, sports information director
UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio – The Capital University softball team opened its Ohio Athletic Conference season on the road at John Carroll University. Sunday's doubleheader landed the Crusaders with a split with the aid of clutch hitting combined with a solid performance in the circle.
GAME ONE - Capital 6, John Carroll 10
Capital began the game strongly with a five-run offensive outburst in its first at bat. The inning was highlighted by Chevonne Hayslett's third home run of the season, a three-run blast to put the Crusaders up 4-0. CU added one more by inning's end with help from an error in the field by JCU.
JCU scored twice in the bottom of the second inning, but an eight-run third inning hurt relinquished the CU lead and kept the Crusaders from the victory. Two run-scoring extra-base hits helped the Blue Streaks overtake the lead, Lindsay McKnight's two-run homer added to the deficit and made for a 10-5 score.
Morgan Fadel added one more Cap run in the fourth via an RBI double, but that was all the closer CY would get to JCU in game one.
Alyx Slusher had another multi-hit game after going 3-for-3, but no other Crusader posted more than one hit. Kim Rega (L, 1-1) took the loss after throwing 2.2 innings, allowing seven runs (two earned) on six hits, and walking three.
JCU's Jessica Cook (W, 4-2) went 5.0 innings and gave up all six Cap runs before Elizabeth O'Grady and Madison Eagle combined to finish out the remaining two innings.
GAME TWO - Capital 2, John Carroll 1
Brianna Reardon tossed six scoreless innings to set up the dramatic seventh. Erica Ogden drew a leadoff walk from JCU pitcher Jenn Patterson, which would serve as a huge detriment to the hosts. Kristen Mellott dropped a sacrifice bunt to move Ogden, but the throw to try to retire Ogden at second went errant and allowed her to move to third on the play.
Barrett Littman came in to pinch run for Mellott, which would come to serve as a key strategic move for Cap. After Patterson struck out the next two hitters, Martin came up to the plate and drove a double to the left center field gap. Ogden scored easily and Littman followed behind with incredible speed and beat the throw to the plate to put Cap up 2-0.
Reardon's lone blemish came when Lindsay McKnight hit a one-out solo home run to center to halve the lead. JCU rallied with back-to-back two-out singles, but Reardon forced Kristen Jesberger to line out to second baseman Maria Keller to end the game.
Cap (5-13, 1-1 OAC) will face a short turnaround when they hit the road one final time this week. They head to Bethany College (W.Va.) on Monday, March 25 for two games, beginning at 3 p.m.