By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
CLERMONT, Fla. – On a hot and sunny day in the Sunshine State, Capital University Softball took the field for the first time in 2018. Unfortunately for the Crusaders, the Purple and White were not able to scrape out a win in two tries.
Game 1 - Alma 9, Capital 2
Capital began its day against Alma College in the opening game of the season but a hot start from the Scots powered Alma to a 9-2 win. Bailey Walter (Ashland, Ohio/Crestview) led off the game for Capital with a single through the right side but the Crusaders were not able to bring her around, striking out twice and grounding out to end the top half of the first. The Scots responded by scoring twice in their half of the inning. McKenzie Creed doubled home a run and then scored on sacrifice fly a batter later.
Alma doubled its lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the second with a two-run single by Cassidy Tucker. Three runs in the third and another in the fourth gave the Scots an 8-0 lead after four innings.
With their backs against the wall, the Crusaders got on the board in the fifth with an RBI from senior Pam Vickers (Sagamore Hills, Ohio/Nordonia) that scored freshman Erica Ogden (Grove City, Ohio/Bishop Ready). Ogden recorded her first collegiate hit earlier in the inning, a double to right. Capital struck again in the sixth inning when Chevonne Hayslett (Miamisburg, Ohio/Miamisburg East) singled home Alyx Slusher (Rockford, Ohio/Parkway) to make the score 8-2. Alma scored its ninth run in the sixth.
Brianna Reardon (Fremont, Ohio/St. Joseph Central Catholic) started the game for Capital and recorded a strikeout before being relieved by Tatyana Cotrell (Bradford, Ohio/Bradford) in the third. Hayslett, who started the game at catcher, pitched the final two innings.
Game 2 - Cabrini 2, Capital 0
The second game of Monday's doubleheader started at a blistering pace as both Casey Schueren for Cabrini and Reardon for Cap grinded the opposing teams' offenses to a halt from the circle. The two pitchers allowed only four hits through three frames and Cabrini's 2-0 victory shows the pitchers' dominance.
Capital was able to threaten first in the bottom of the fourth after Ogden reached base on a bunt single to start the inning. Hayslett grounded out as the next batter but moved Ogden over to second and Ogden advanced to third on a flyout by Haleigh Luce (Greenville, Ohio/Greenville). A grounder to third ended the inning with no score.
The Crusaders managed two hits in the bottom of the sixth from Hayslett and Cory Mangen (Clayton, Ohio/Northmont) but again could not bring any runners home.
The Cavaliers finally broke the scoreless tie in the top of the seventh. A Cabrini single followed by an error and a walk loaded the bases for the Cavaliers and an error allowed Amber Seaman to score the first run of the game. They added the second on an RBI from Chrissy Ferraro.
After striking out 10 times in the day's first game, only two Crusaders struck out in the second. Reardon pitched a gem, allowing only five hits in seven innings and striking out three. Each team left eight runners on base.
Capital (0-2) will have two more chances on Tuesday to earn its first victory of the season. The Crusaders will face Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology at 11:30 in the first game of the day and will then meet Adrian College in the second at 2 p.m.