The Denison softball team suffered a pair of setbacks on Monday at the Tucson Invitational Games in Tucson, Ariz. The Big Red dropped their opener 3-0 to Wisconsin-Eau Claire and suffered a 4-3 loss to Marian (Wis.) in the nightcap.
In game one, the Blugolds struck for three runs in the third innings which proved to be enough to earn their seventh win of the season. After stealing back-to-back bases, Amanda Fischer came around to score the eventual game-winning run when Nikki Brooks was caught stealing second base. With runners at second and third, Deanna Gilane added to the lead with a two-run double to left center. Eau Claire's Emma Wishau improved to 2-0 on the year after scattering three hits across seven innings with eight strikeouts.
Two of Denison's three hits came off the bat of junior Julie Rooney, while senior Heather Larsen picked up the third single. Kelsey Hager took the tough luck loss after holding the high-powered Wisconsin-Eau Claire offense to just three runs on seven hits. The senior also struck out two and issued three walks.
In the second contest, the Sabres scored single runs in the second, third and fourth innings to build a 3-0 lead. With one out in the fifth, freshman Ryan Lee reached on a two-base fielding error by the Marian left fielder. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Lee scored on a two-out wild pitch by Emily Gorges. With one run in, junior Emily Lipsitz dropped a base hit down the right line to keep the inning alive. Senior pinch hitter Gretchen Staubach followed with a triple to right center that scored Lipsitz and put the game-tying run 60 feet away. Ellen McDevitt-Stredney, who was pinch hit for by Staubach, returned to the game and scored from third on an error by the Sabre shortstop.
In the bottom of the seventh, Marian's leadoff hitter reached after being struck by a pitch. Sara Terrian moved to second after a successful sacrifice bunt. Freshman reliever Erin Laswell recorded the second out after fielding her position and throwing out Gorges at first. After issuing a walk to Charlotte Pegram, Lydia Cloud came up with the game-winning single that scored Nikki Jakel from second.
Anna Balch, Lipsitz, Staubach and Larsen represented DU's four hits. Laswell (1-1) suffered the loss in relief after surrendering two runs on four hits with three strikeouts in four innings. Lindsay Divack made her first-career start, allowing one earned run on three hits in 2.2 innings.
Denison falls to 1-3 on the year following the Monday's contests. The Big Red returns to Lincoln Park on Tuesday when they take on Crown (Minn.) and La Verne at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. MST, respectively.