The Denison softball team split a doubleheader with Case Western Reserve on Saturday, taking game one 6-0 before dropping an 8-0 decision in 5 innings.
Game one of the doubleheader was a pitchers' duel in the early stages of the contest. Big Red senior Rebecca Dyer and Spartan freshman Annie Wennerberg combined to scatter four hits, two by each pitcher, over the first four and a half innings. In the bottom of the fifth, the DU offense finally broke the scoreless tie with five runs thanks to four hits and a pair of Case Western Reserve errors.
Senior Gretchen Staubach led off the inning with a base hit through the left side. Freshman Erin Laswell also reached when her ground ball went through the legs of Erin Dreger. A second single to left by Rachel Laughlin loaded the bases with no outs. Freshman Ryan Lee ended the scoring drought with a base hit to left center that scored Heather Larsen, who pinch ran for Staubach. After back-to-back strikeouts by Wennerberg, pinch hitter Anna Balch added an insurance run when she reached on a misplayed ball by shortstop Makenzie Lein.
With the bases still loaded, freshman Kerry Hager stepped up to the dish looking to put the game out of reach. Entering the at-bat, Hager was 3-for-4 with the bases loaded. The freshman improved on her .750 average as she ripped a double to left center that scored Laughlin, Lee and Ellen McDevitt-Stredney, who re-enter the game after Balch's at-bat.
Now working with a five-run lead, Dyer returned to the circle looking to nail down another shutout. The senior faced the minimum in the sixth despite giving up a leadoff bunt single. After getting Lein to fly out to left, Meghan Edwards nailed Molly O'Brien trying to steal second base. McDevitt-Stredney recorded the third out after catching an Ann Taylor fly ball in foul territory.
Laughlin added to the DU lead with an RBI single to left center that scored Edwards in the bottom of the sixth. In the seventh, Dyer retired the side in order to lock up her fifth shutout of the season. Third baseman Julie Rooney recorded the first and last outs, while Dyer fanned Gena Roberts in between the plays by Rooney.
Edwards, Laughlin and Lee all logged two hits and scored a run, while Hager had a three-run double. Dyer improved to 7-3 on the year after scattering three hits and striking out five en route to her 21st-career shutout.
O'Brien, Taylor and Dreger recorded the three this for the Spartans. Wennerberg fell to 10-3 on the year after allowing five runs on six hits in five innings of work.
Case Western Reserve salvaged a split after picking up an 8-0 victory in the nightcap. After scoring a single run in the first and two more in the second, the Spartans pushed across five unearned runs in the fourth to set up the win. Rebecca Molnar allowed five hits and struck out two en route to earning her fifth win of the season. Denison freshman Lindsay Divack (1-2) suffered the loss after surrendering eight runs (one earned) on five hits in 3.2 innings.
Denison moves to 12-10 on the year, while Case Western Reserve now sits at 20-10. The Big Red returns to action on Sunday when they travel o Defiance for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.