Softball: Raiders Conclude Season with a Split Against Capital on "Senior Day"

Left to Right: Cheyenne Miller, Shelby Vansickle, Jordan Kramer, Brittany Baitt, Jordan Tull, Jenna Liles (Photo by JT Higgins)
Left to Right: Cheyenne Miller, Shelby Vansickle, Jordan Kramer, Brittany Baitt, Jordan Tull, Jenna Liles (Photo by JT Higgins)

ALLIANCE, Ohio -- The Mount Union softball team split a pair of games against Capital (9-31, 3-15 OAC) Saturday afternoon on Senior Day.

Before the start of the game, Mount Union seniors Brittany Baitt (Painesville/Riverside), Jordan Kramer (Mentor/Mentor), Jenna Liles (Sterling/Norwayne), Cheyenne Miller (Salem/West Branch), Jordan Tull (Brewster/Fairless) and Shelby Vansickle (Loudonville/Loudonville) were recognized with their families, as all six seniors started both games.

In game one, Capital scored early after just three batters were faced in the top of the first inning. Mount Union made their response in the bottom of the second, with three runs batted in on an RBI double by Kramer, a passed ball and an RBI single by Baitt to take a 3-1 lead.

Both teams were able to tack on an extra run in through the third and fourth inning with Capital still trailing 4-2 entering the top of an offense-dominated fifth inning.

Capital drove in three runs on three hits in the top half of the inning to take a 5-4 lead. Mount Union quickly got runners into scoring position in the bottom of the inning as bases were loaded with zero outs.

A sacrifice fly by Maggie Dominick (Dennsion/Tuscarawas Central Catholic) gave base runner Brooklyn Hellman (Canton/Jackson) enough time to cross home plate to tie the score at 5-5 with one out. Liles up to bat and a hard hit to center field gave her a base-clearing triple for a Mount Union lead of 7-5. Vansickle then walked to put runners on first and third, bringing up Kramer. Kramer grounded out to the shortstop, but Liles was able to make it home as Capital could turn the double play in time; Raiders lead 8-5.

Capital went 1-2-3 for the top of the sixth and Mount Union left the bases loaded in the bottom. 

With back-to-back hits to start the seventh, Capital was looking to make a run. After bringing in two runs, Capital had runners on first and third, two outs and was only down one run at 8-7, but Vansickle threw a series of strong pitches and got the strikeout to end the game. In just her second complete game, Vansickle would get the win to improve to 4-1 on the year after allowing seven runs on 10 hits and a pair out strikeouts.

In game two, Mount Union was on the board in the bottom of the first with an RBI single to right field by Miller to score Liles.

Mount Union would hold their 1-0 lead until Capital tabbed two runs in the top of the fourth on an RBI groundout and single to take a 2-1 lead. 

With Mount Union unable to score in the fifth, Capital advanced their lead to 4-1 in the top of the sixth, bringing in two runs on three hits.

In the bottom half of the inning, a lead-off triple by Allie Goldy (Painesville/Riverside) got the offense going for Mount Union. Goldy was sent home after a sacrifice fly to center field by Dominick. Keeping the bats alive, Mount Union seniors Vansickle, Tull and Kramer all hit singles to load the bases once again. Baitt followed suit with a single up the middle, driving in Vansickle. Tull made a run for home to try and tie things up, but was tagged out on a throw from the center fielder.

Trailing 4-3, Mount Union was able to keep the top of the seventh short for Capital as they recorded only one hit in four batters. However, Capital forced Mount Union to go three-up, three-down in the bottom of the seventh, ending the game with a loss for the Raiders with the final score 4-3.

Starting pitcher Hannah Reusser (Minerva/Minerva) pitched her 13th complete game of the year after allowing four runs on eight hits with a pair of strikeouts, finishing the year with a record of 8-10.

With the split and the 2018 season coming to an end, the Purple Raiders went 16-22 overall and finished with a conference record of 7-11 in the OAC.