GRANVILLE, Ohio -- The Big Red received two strong pitching performances and had an offensive explosion in game two en route to sweeping a North Coast Athletic Conference doubleheader with Wooster on Friday. Denison edged the Scots, 1-0, in the opener before routing Wooster, 8-1, in the finale.
The NCAC's reigning Player of the Week honorees both shined in the sweep. Sarah Herold, who earned her second-consecutive pitcher of the week laurel on Monday, tossed a complete-game four-hit shutout in game one. In addition to limiting the Scots to just four hits, Herold also scored the game-winning run in the top of the first inning after leading off the home half of the first with a base hit through the left side.
Inside the circle, Herold (9-3) fanned batters without issuing a free pass in seven innings of work. She also didn't allow a base runner to advance past first base, while retiring the side in order in three of the seven frames. The junior's counterpart, Maddy Chase, also tossed a four-hit gem, allowing one run while striking out three.
In the nightcap, the DU offense backed an impressive outing by Erin Laswell and Lauren Secaras. Sophomore Laura Bagan opened the scoring in game two with a sacrifice fly to center in the first that scored Herold. One inning later, Mckinly Vazquez ripped a base hit up the middle that plated Charlotte Happel from second. The Scots cut the deficit in half with a single run in the fourth and had a chance to tie the game up with the game-tying run at third in the fifth.
With two outs and runners at the corners in the fifth, Denison head coach Tiffany Ozbun decided to make a change in her defensive alignment. Ozbun moved Herold into centerfield, Vazquez to first and brought Secaras into the circle to try and escape the jam. The move worked as the junior needed just one pitch to get Linea Brouse to fly out to Kerry Hager in right field.
The Big Red added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth when Bagan knocked in Secaras with a double to deep center. Happel drove in two more with a two-base hit to almost the same spot Bagan hit her double. The freshman's hit knocked in both Bagan and Lindsey Clemson. Wooster tried to use some aggressive play to cut into the margin, but a laser throw from Hager gunned down Brouse at the plate.
Denison put the game away in the sixth when Secaras, the reigning NCAC Player of the Week, crushed an opposite field three-run homer to right center that put the home team up 8-1. Laswell (6-3) picked up the win after surrendering just one run on three hits with four strikeouts in 4.2 innings of work. Secaras secured her fourth-career save after tossing 2.1 innings of one-hit ball. The junior also finished 3-for-4 at the plate in game two with three RBIs and two runs. Ricki Asher and Clemson both logged two hits, while Bagan and Happel each knocked in a pair.
Denison improves to 21-9 on the year and 7-3 in the NCAC, while the Scots fall to 14-18 and 5-5 in the league. The Big Red will begin a string of three-straight road series on Monday when they travel to Capital. Game one of the twinbill is slated to start at 3 p.m.