GRANVILLE, Ohio-- Denison punched their ticket to the 2017 North Coast Athletic Conference tournament by splitting a doubleheader with Allegheny College. Denison dropped the opener, 5-3 in extra-innings but bounced back for an 8-0 win in the nightcap. The Big Red's regular season comes to a close with a 26-14 record and a 10-6 mark in conference play.
In game two, senior hurler Erin Laswell got the start and she was brilliant, allowing only two hits in six innings pitched. While she was keeping the Gators bats silent, the Denison offense gave them an early lead.
Lauren Secaras started things off in the first with a RBI single up the middle, scoring Ryan Lee who reached on an error. Laura Bagan followed with a single to center that scored Ricki Asher. In the third, Bagan laced a double to the gap in right-center, scoring Secaras and Asher to give DU a 4-0 lead.
Denison plated another run in the fifth off a sacrifice fly by Asher that scored Mckinly Vazquez. In the sixth, Vazquez led things off with a single to center. Lee was hit by a pitch and Asher's RBI single scored Vazquez. Leading 6-0, Secaras' two-run single to right field ended the game at 8-0.
Laswell improved to 8-4 on the year. She struck out four while facing only 22 batters. Allegheny's Miranda Arison took the loss. She allowed 11 hits and seven earned runs while striking out three. The offense was led by Asher and Secaras who each went 3-for-3. Bagan and Secaras drove in three apiece.
In game one, Allegheny got to Denison starter Sarah Herold early thanks to a 3-run homer by Taylor Massart in the first inning.
Denison scored one in the second, one in the fourth and another in the fifth to tie the game at three. Allegheny scored two in the top of the eighth to take the 5-3 lead but Denison wasn't done. In the bottom of the eighth Secaras came to the dish representing the potential winning run. With Lee and Asher on the base paths, Kala Mahen got Secaras to ground out to first base to end the game.
Mahen pitched all eight innings and battled through five Allegheny errors and countless jams to improve to 6-9. Herold pitched six innings for Denison, allowing five hits and three runs with four strikeouts. Taryn Welch took the loss. She worked two innings and did not allow an earned run.
The NCAC Tournament will take place on May 5-6 at the home field of the No. 1 seed. The Big Red will be the No. 3 seed in the tournament. They finished in a tie for third with Wooster at 10-6, but Denison swept the Fighting Scots in their conference doubleheader on April 14.