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DU drops heartbreaker at NCAAs

Gretchen Staubach went 3-for-3 with a double and 2 RBIs against Alma.
Gretchen Staubach went 3-for-3 with a double and 2 RBIs against Alma.

Third-seeded Alma College rallied for four runs in the seventh inning en route to a 6-5 victory over the No. 6 seed Denison Big Red on Thursday afternoon in Alma, Mich.  With the loss, DU drops into the loser's bracket and will play on Friday at 12 p.m.

It was a scoreless game until the third inning.  Sophomore Gretchen Staubach opened the inning with a base hit to center field.  Senior Kait Fiore followed with a single to left that put runners at first and second.  First-year Julie Rooney dropped a one-out single into center that loaded the bases.  With two down, sophomore catcher Meghan Edwards hit a single down the left field line that scored pinch runner Rosie Glaser from third.

Sophomore Rachel Laughlin opened the fifth with a solo shot over the wall in left center.  With one out, junior Jess Robertson reached on a third-strike error by the catcher.  That miscue sparked a rally that allowed DU to push across two more runs.  Sophomore Heather Larsen followed the error with a single down the line.  Staubach came up with a two-out double that scored Robertson and Larsen.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Scots answered with a pair to cut the deficit in half, 4-2.  Lea Lusk drove in both runs with a double down the left field line.

In the seventh, Edwards opened the frame with a home run to left that extended the Big Red lead to 5-3.  In the bottom of the frame, Alma got three hits and produced four runs with two outs to secure the come-from-behind win.  Emily Ross logged the game-winning hit on a hard shot to second.

Staubach went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs to pace the Denison offense, while Edwards and Fiore each logged two hits.  Edwards had two RBIs and a run score, while Robertson and Larsen also crossed the dish.  Sophomore Kelsey Hager suffered the loss after surrendering four runs on four hits in 1.2 innings out of the bullpen.  Starter Becca Dyer allowed two runs on seven hits with five Ks in five frames.

The Big Red drops to 27-18 on the year, while the Scots improve to 29-12.  Denison returns to the field on Friday when they take on Penn State-Behrend at 12 p.m.

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