The Denison softball team swept a twinbill from Muskingum University on Wednesday in New Concord, Ohio. DU won the opener 5-2, and took the nightcap 7-3.
Solid pitching performances from Denison starter Kelsey Hager and Muskingum hurler Brittany Folk dominated the early stages of game one. The two pitchers combined to scatter just five hits in the first four innings.
The Big Red broke through for the game's first runs in the top of the fifth. With one out, Emily Lipsitz and Kait Fiore recorded back-to-back singles, while Rachel Laughlin loaded the bases with a two-out walk. Muskingum's shutout bid ended when Lipsitz crossed the dish on a hit by pitch. Sophomore Meghan Edwards followed with a bases clearing double down the left field line that scored Fiore, Laughlin and Hannah Price.
The Muskies struck for one in the bottom of the inning on a single to left by Apryl Patterson, but DU answered in the sixth with an RBI ground out by Lipsitz that drove in Gretchen Staubach. Muskingum made it a three-run game with a leadoff homer by Courtney Moyer in the sixth, but it wasn't enough as Hager and the Big Red defense surrendered just two more hits over the final two frames.
Hager improved to 3-3 after surrendering two runs on seven hits, while Folk took the loss after giving up five runs on seven hits.
In the second game, DU broke a 3-3 tie when Fiore scored on a fielding error by the left fielder. Denison tacked on three insurance runs in the sixth thanks to four hits and a pair of Muskingum errors. Lipsitz scored on an error by the second baseman, while hits by Julie Rooney and Laughlin plated Fiore and Rooney, respectively. In all, the Muskies committed an uncharacteristic eight errors in the nightcap.
Laughlin improved to 5-1 after allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits with six strikeouts. Muskingum's Ashley Price suffered the loss after giving up seven runs (five earned) on seven hits in five innings.
Offensively, Fiore went 4-for-7 with four runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base, while Lipsitz was 3-for-6 with two runs and an RBI. Laughlin and Rooney each logged a pair of hits, drove in a run and scored another.
Denison improves to 8-4 on the year, while the Muskies fall to 7-9 on the season. DU opens its home schedule on Thursday against Capital University. First pitch of the doubleheader is slated for 3:30 p.m.