Related link: 2015 OAC Softball Tournament
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Amid celebrating the careers of six senior student-athletes playing in their final games at Clowson Field, the Capital University softball team split Sunday's doubleheader with Ohio Northern University. The Polar Bears took game one by a 5-2 final score before the Crusaders rebounded with a 10-2 win in six innings. Capital finishes the regular season with a 27-12 overall record. Their 14-4 conference record grants them the No. 2 seed in the upcoming OAC Softball Tournament that begins Friday, May 1.
GAME 1 – Ohio Northern 5, Capital 2
Capital clung on to a 2-2 tie heading into the final frame, but Ohio Northern erupted for a three-run seventh inning, guiding them to a 5-2 win in game one.
The Crusaders' offense struggled, claiming just two runs on five hits over the course of the game. Ohio Northern tallied just six hits, but cranked out five runs in the process.
Tied in the seventh, Jenna Hollar led the inning off with an infield single. Two batters later, runners were on the corners with another single, this time by Gia Saturday. Four-hitter Amanda Lahti pushed home one run with grounder to the right side, but the big hit came from Kelly Sheridan who drove a home run over the left field fence off of senior Alyssa Patznick to make the lead three runs.
Capital's runs were a byproduct of a Polar Bear error in the first inning and then an RBI single in the third by junior Brooklyn Staten (Grove City, Ohio).
Paztnick (L, 9-4) took the loss, surrendering five runs, three earned, on six hits but allowed six free passes via four walks and two hit batsmen.
GAME 2 – Ohio Northern 2, Capital 10 (Final – 6 innings)
Becker tallied Capital's first run with a run-scoring single, popping the ball up in front of home plate. Ohio Northern catcher Amanda Lahti dove but could not come up with the grab. While the floated and rolled in fair territory, Swain was on her horse and scored all the way from second base.
Becker was also a part of the Crusaders' three-run third inning, which gave the lead back to the hosts. She painted the left-field line with a drive that scored Swain and pinch runner Brooke Hokes (Powell, Ohio). Sophomore Kat Boyer (Huber Heights, Ohio) then swapped places with Becker at second with a double to deep left field.
Up 4-2 in the fourth, Cotton recorded her second hit of the day, a two-run single to left field. It was the first of three consecutive two-run innings that helped bring the game to a close one inning early.
Junior Ashley Knowles (Canton, Ohio) ended the game with a two-out, two-run single to right field. Pinch runner Katie Hurst and Becker scored on the play, bringing a close to the contest with the score 10-2.
Senior Brooke Billings (Clyde, Ohio) went all six innings and improved to 11-7 overall. She allowed just two runs on six hits while striking out a pair.
Senior Emma Caputo (Columbus, Ohio/Bishop Hartley) came into the game in the fifth inning and recorded a pinch-hit single.
With Heidelberg University sweep Otterbein University on Sunday, the Student Princes garnered the top seed heading into this weekend's 2015 OAC Softball Tournament. Heidelberg will host the tournament and setup a rematch between Capital and ONU as the number two and three seeds, respectively.
Capital will open the tournament as the home team against Ohio Northern and play Friday, May 1 with a 10 a.m. first pitch. Should Capital win, they will play the winner of the No. 4 John Carroll versus No. 1 Heidelberg game at 2 p.m. If they lose, they will play the loser from the same contest in an elimination game.