CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. – Denison softball suffered a pair of 3-1 losses to Thomas More University on Monday afternoon at Thomas More Field in Crestview Hills, Ky.
Headlined by the game one pitching matchup of Denison's Taryn Welch and TMU's Alix DeDreu, the Saints added the first runs of the game in the bottom of the first when Andrea Gahan connected on a two-run home run to center field that put Thomas More ahead after one, 2-0.
In the top of the second, the Big Red wasted no time in trimming their deficit when senior Laura Bagan led off the inning with a solo home run to left center to bring DU within one, 2-1.
From that point on, Welch and DeDreu took control of the game in the circle, combining for 12 strikeouts through the first four innings of work. The Big Red looked to add to their total in the fifth when Allie Kovatch tallied a one-out single to first. Emilie Fisher followed with a single to center, but Kovatch earned the second out of the inning when she was thrown out at third.
In the next at-bat, Claire Powell recorded DU's third hit of the inning to put runners at first and third with two outs, but a strikeout from Lindsey Clemson ended the inning and kept Thomas More's lead at 2-1 through five.
After the Saints added another run in the sixth, the Big Red were unable to rally as they suffered their fifth loss of the season.
DeDreu took the victory in game one with one run on six hits and 11 strikeouts. Welch went to 3-2 on the season after allowing three runs on four hits and recorded six strikeouts in six innings pitched.
Bagan finished the game 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, while Clemson led DU with two hits. Gahan collected 2 RBIs on one hit and one run scored for TMU.
Unlike game one, the Big Red answered first in game two after Fisher opened the top of the third with a single up the middle. Following a groundout from Gabi Dufresne and a strikeout from Clemson, Denison loaded the bases with two outs after Bagan and Colleen Hoffman earned back-to-back walks.
In the next at-bat, Amanda Howell gave the Big Red their first lead of the day with a single to right that scored Fisher and put DU ahead, 1-0.
Leading 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth, the Saints responded with a two-out single from Morgan Wells that scored Gahan and tied the game at 1-1. After a Denison error allowed Mary Beth Odom to score from third on the next play, the Saints took a 2-1 advantage into the fifth.
Thomas More added another run in the sixth, and despite Bagan's two-out single in the seventh, the Big Red couldn't secure the comeback as they fell to 6-6 on the season. The Saints improved to 17-7 with the victories.
Olivia Jackson took the win in game two after pitching three shutout innings in relief for TMU. The loss was charged to Hoffman who allowed one earned run on six hits with three strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched.
Denison had four players go 1-for-3 in game two while Howell tallied an RBI and Fisher scored the team's lone run. TMU's Morgan Wells went 1-for-2 and led the team with two RBIs.
The Big Red will return to action on Wednesday, April 3 when they travel to Hiram College to open their North Coast Athletic Conference schedule with the Terriers. Game one begins at 3:30 p.m.