The Denison softball team recorded its second-straight North Coast Athletic Conference sweep following a pair of victories at Oberlin on Wednesday afternoon. The Big Red shutout the Yeowomen 3-0 in game one and picked up a 7-3 decision in the second game.
In the opener, senior pitcher Rebecca Dyer extended her scoreless streak to 26 innings after tossing a complete-game, one-hit shutout. Dyer fanned eight batters and issued just two walks en route to her sixth win of the season.
The Big Red offense supported the gem tossed by Dyer with a three-run sixth inning. With runners at the corners and one out, senior Rachel Laughlin singled in pinch runner Lindsey Kenyon. With pinch hitter Anna Balch, Laughlin and fellow senior Heather Larsen executed a double steal that allowed Laughlin to score from third. With two outs, Larsen scored the third run of the inning on a passed ball by Emily King.
In the nightcap, Oberlin jumped out to an early lead after a Grace Evans single scored Emily King from third. The home team held on to the lead until the fourth inning when a pair of Big Red home runs put Denison in front, 3-1. Senior catcher Meghan Edwards led off the inning with a home run to right field. After Erin Laswell reached on a fielding error, Staubach left the yard with a shot to center field.
The Yeowomen shrunk the deficit to one in the fifth when a Jenny Hill double scored Caroline Hamilton. However, the Big Red answered with a run in the sixth and three more in the seventh to build a 7-2 lead. Pinch hitter Lourdes De La Rosa drove in Larsen with a base hit through the right side in the sixth, while Laswell and Larsen combined to drive in three runs in the seventh. Laswell drove in Ryan Lee with a double, while Larsen knocked in Laughlin and Laswell with a double to left.
Oberlin scored a run in the bottom of the seventh, but an 8-2 double play secured the Big Red's four-run win. On a fly ball caught by Hager in center, OC head coach Mimi Mahon decided to test the arm of the freshman outfielder. That was a decision she wished she could have back as Hager fired a strike to Edwards, nailing Katie Pieplow at the plate.
Laughlin went 3-for-4 with a run, while Larsen had two hits, drove in a pair and scored another run. Edwards also had two hits, while Laswell scored twice and Staubach knocked in a pair. Laswell improved 3-3 inside the circle after allowing two runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings of work. Senior Kelsey Hager closed out the final 2.2 innings en route to her third-career save. Hager surrendered one run and scattered five hits.
With the sweep, Denison moves to 11-7 overall and 5-3 in the NCAC, while Oberlin falls to 4-16 and 1-7 in league play. The Big Red will play 12 of their next 14 games at home starting Thursday with a doubleheader against Capital. Game on is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.