The Big Red picked up a pair of nonconference victories over Defiance College on Monday afternoon. DU won the opener 7-3, and edged the Yellow Jackets 4-3 in the nightcap.
The Big Red parlayed a walk, an error and two hits into three runs in the opening frame of game one. With the bases loaded, sophomore Heather Larsen roped a double to left that scored Rachel Laughlin, Meghan Edwards and Jess Robertson. Denison nearly returned the favor with back-to-back errors to open the bottom of the first, but a sacrifice bunt and a pair of infield outs got sophomore pitcher Becca Dyer out of the early jam.
The Yellow Jackets scratched a run across in the fourth when a Jessica Mandula single plated Gloria Basinger from second. DU answered in the top of the fifth when Edwards sent a double through the left side that scored Laughlin and senior Hannah Price. After a Robertson single put runners at the corner, Larsen knocked in Edwards on a sacrifice fly to make it a 6-1 game.
Denison tacked on another in the sixth when first-year Julie Rooney singled in Gretchen Staubach. Defiance scored twice in the sixth on a Macy Ferrall sacrifice fly and an infield single, but it wasn't enough as sophomore Kelsey Hager held on for the victory in relief.
Hager improved to 8-9 on the year after surrendering two runs on six hits with four strikeouts in 3.2 innings of work. Robertson went a perfect 3-for-3 with a run, while Larsen drove in a team-best four runs.
In game two, first-inning singles by Laughlin, Edwards and Emily Lipsitz allowed DU to take a 3-0 lead. The Big Red added another run in the third, but the Yellow Jackets trimmed the deficit to one with a pair of RBI singles in the third and another run in the sixth. Price added an insurance run in the seventh to extend the Denison lead to 5-3.
Laughlin picked up her team-leading ninth win of the season after surrendering two runs on seven hits in four innings of work. Hager closed out the final three frames en route to her second-career save. Offensively, Price, Laughlin, Lipsitz, junior Rosie Glaser and Fiore all logged two hits in game two, while Edwards finished the twinbill with five hits, five runs and two RBIs.
Denison improves to 21-15, while Defiance falls to 9-28. The Big Red resumes North Coast Athletic Conference play on Wednesday when they host Kenyon at 3:30 p.m.