By Blake Moore
BEXLEY — Senior Kaitlin Surdej (Lancaster, N.Y./Central) recorded two victories in the pitching circle and junior Gabby Stewart (Union, Ky./St. Henry) produced a team-high four RBI and launched two home runs Wednesday afternoon, guiding the Ohio Northern softball team to a 9-0, 11-4 sweep against Capital at Clowson Field.
With the victories, the Polar Bears improve to 11-9 overall and 5-1 in the Ohio Athletic Conference this season. Meanwhile, the Crusaders drop to 7-17 overall and 1-5 in league action.
In addition, ONU has now four consecutive games after sweeping Wilmington yesterday 7-0 and 13-6.
Surdej was dominant inside the circle Wednesday afternoon, tossing 10.0 scoreless innings and striking out eight batters to receive both pitching wins in the doubleheader.
She has now pitched 20.1 consecutive scoreless frames with her last run conceded in the seventh inning against Wooster on March 27.
The senior started game one and conceded just three hits in the complete game shutout, which ended in five innings due to the NCAA's eight-run rule. In game two, she pitched the final five innings to strike out five batters and give up only two hits.
Meanwhile, Stewart helped lead the ONU efforts at the plate with a three-for-five performance. The Union, Kentucky native belted two home runs, recorded four RBI, scored a team-high four runs, and reached base six total times Wednesday afternoon.
Senior Hailee Loughman (Brookville) and freshman Rachel Hish (Gainesville, Va./Patriot) each recorded a team-high four hits in the midweek doubleheader. The former added two RBI and a double to the scorecard while the latter chipped in three runs.
During game one, Stewart jolted the Polar Bear offense to life with a solo home run to center field in the first inning.
From there, the Polar Bears tacked on three runs in the second, one in the third, and four more in the fifth to record a 9-0 shutout in the opener.
In the nightcap, the Crusaders sought to take command early after tallying all four runs in the first two innings for a 4-0 advantage.
However, ONU responded with three runs in the third frame when Guest blasted a three-run home run to score Stewart and Hist, making the deficit just 4-3.
Northern hung a six-spot in the fourth inning to take a 9-4 edge before Stewart launched a two-run home run in the sixth to cap the scoring and secure an 11-4 win.
The Polar Bears will return to action this Saturday when they travel to Mount Union for an OAC doubleheader. Game one is slated for a 1 p.m. first pitch.