The Big Red softball team picked up its first North Coast Athletic Conference sweep of the season after taking a pair from Hiram on Sunday afternoon in Granville. Denison shut out the Terriers 2-0 in game one and rallied for a 6-5 walk-off win in the nightcap.
Despite grabbing the early lead in game two, the Big Red found themselves in a 5-2 hole after four and a half innings of play. Junior Ellen McDevitt-Stredney led off the bottom of the fifth with a base-hit bunt that died in no-man's land between the pitcher Taylor Miller and the catcher Jess Bolanz. Julie Rooney followed the infield single with a base hit to right. McDevitt-Stredney came around to score on the play thanks to a fielding error by right fielder Danielle Latine.
The Big Red completed their rally with a pair of runs in the sixth, tying the game at 5-5. After a leadoff single and a stolen base put senior Meghan Edwards at second, a ground out by Erin Laswell got Edwards 60 feet from home. Senior Gretchen Staubach followed with her team-leading third triple of the season, easily scoring Edwards from third. After a Hiram pitching change brought in game-one starter Meghan Garland, senior Rachel Laughlin roped a double to center that drove in Staubach and tied the contest. DU loaded the bases with only one out, but a strikeout by Garland and a pop out got the Terriers out of the inning.
After Denison retired Hiram in order in the top of the seventh, the stage was set for DU's walk-off victory. Freshman Ryan Lee and Edwards opened the bottom of the frame with singles to right and center, respectively. Garland went on to load the bases after issuing a free pass to Laswell. With the bases juiced, Staubach knew all she needed was a deep ball to the outfield to complete the comeback. Down to her final strike of the at-bat, the senior first baseman ripped a liner off the shortstop's glove and into short left field allowing Lee to score the game-winning run from third.
Staubach was a home run shy of the cycle after going 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Edwards also went 3-for-4 with a stolen base and a run, while Laughlin had two hits and drove in three runs.
Coming off a dominating performance in Saturday's 3-0 victory over Allegheny, senior Rebecca Dyer entered the circle in game one of the twinbill looking to pick up her fourth win of the season. Dyer, who struck out a career-high 13 batters in Meadville, continued her strong play inside the circle as she carried a no-hitter through 4.2 innings before allowing a base hit to Latine. At the completion of five innings, the senior had surrendered just one hit and struck out six batters. Hiram put together a rally in the seventh, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate. However, a ground ball to Rooney at third helped Dyer nail down the shutout victory.
The senior's stellar outing inside the circle was backed up by a two-run double to center by freshman Kerry Hager. Hager's extra-base knock scored fellow freshman Lindsey Kenyon and senior Heather Larsen. Larsen finished the game with two hits to pace the DU offense.
Dyer finished the day with two victories and 14 strikeouts in 10.1 innings of work. She scattered four hits in the complete-game win in the opener, and tossed a hitless 3.1 innings in relief to earn the game-two victory. Dyer has also gone 19-straight innings without giving up a run.
Garland fell to 3-9 on the year after suffering both losses for the Terriers. The Terrier pitcher allowed three runs on 13 hits with three strikeouts in 7.2 innings of work.
Denison improves to 9-7 on the year and 3-3 in the NCAC, while the Terriers fall to 5-13 overall and 0-4 in league play. The Big Red returns to action on Wednesday when they travel to Oberlin for an NCAC doubleheader with the Yeowomen. Game one is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.