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Denison remains in NCAC Tourney mix after split with Witt

Rebecca Dyer struck out 9 and allowed 1 run in her game 1 victory.
Rebecca Dyer struck out 9 and allowed 1 run in her game 1 victory.

Denison and Wittenberg split a North Coast Athletic Conference doubleheader from Granville on Saturday.  The Big Red prevailed in game one, 2-1, before suffering an 8-0 defeat in game two.

It was Senior Day in Granville, and prior to the opening game, DU's six seniors, along with the parents of former team member, Julie Karmann, were recognized for their contributions to the Big Red softball program. 

Game one would be a dual between the NCAC's top two starting pitchers in 2014.  Wittenberg sent Rachel Ross to the circle, while Denison countered with senior Rebecca Dyer.  Both would pitch well, and it would be the Tigers who would strike first as Abby Baker slammed a home run over the wall in left field in the top of the fourth, giving Wittenberg a 1-0 lead.

Denison would counter in the bottom half of the inning when first-year Ryan Lee stroked a single to left, plating Meghan Edwards, who led off the inning with a double down the line in left.

The score would remain tied until the bottom of the fifth.  With one out, Julie Rooney doubled to left, and would advance to third on a ground out by Lindsey Kenyon.  Centerfielder Kerry Hager would follow with an RBI single, scoring Rooney.

That go-ahead run would be all DU would need as Dyer scattered four hits and did not allow a walk while striking out nine in seven innings pitched.  She improved to 8-3 on the year while her counterpart, Ross, dropped to 13-4.

Lee, Rooney, and Hager were all 2-for-3 in game one.

In game two, Wittenberg roughed up Denison starter Kelsey Hager for six runs in the sixth inning.  With Ross back in the circle for the Tigers, DU never could gain any momentum and after two more Wittenberg runs in the fourth inning, the Big Red would go on to suffer an 8-0 loss via the run-rule after five innings.

Ross got the win in game two, allowing only three hits.  She was also 3-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored.  Two of her three hits were doubles.  Casey Hobbs was 2-for-2 with an RBI while Loren Combs finished 2-for-3 while driving in one.

Kelsey Hager would log 1.2 innings in the start.  She was tagged for seven hits and six earns runs as her record dropped to 3-2.  Dyer would pitch 1.2 innings of relief as she allowed two runs via three hits.  Erin Laswell worked the final 1.2 innings, allowing just one hit.

Kerry Hager went 1-for-2 with a double in the nightcap.

DU is now 14-12 overall and 6-4 in the NCAC.  Wittenberg moves to 18-6 and 8-4 in conference play.  DU has three conference doubleheaders remaining on their schedule this week against Wooster, Ohio Wesleyan, and Kenyon.

Denison's seniors have won 64 percent of their games since 2011 and have one NCAC regular season championship and one NCAC Tournament.  Pictured below with their familes are (L-R) Gretchen Staubach, Rachel Laughlin, Heather Larsen, the parents of Julie Karmann, Kelsey Hager, Meghan Edwards, and Rebecca Dyer.