BEXLEY, Ohio – Denison softball moved their winning streak to four games on Thursday afternoon after the Big Red traveled to nearby Bexley, Ohio and swept Capital University, 6-0 in game one and 9-0 in game two. With the sweep, Denison moved to 10-6 on the season while Capital dropped to 7-19.
Totaling six runs on 13 hits in game one, the Big Red bats were assisted in the pitching circle by junior Taryn Welch who kept the Capital hitters at bay throughout the day. Earning her second complete-game shutout of the season, Welch blanked the Crusaders on six hits while allowing one walk and tallying four strikeouts over seven innings of work.
With Welch taking care of business in the circle, Denison gave the junior a lead to work with in the top of the first after Emilie Fisher led off the inning with a single. Three batters later with Fisher on third, senior Laura Bagan doubled down the leftfield line to score Fisher and put the Big Red up early, 1-0.
In the top of the second, Capital starter Madrienne Herdlick recorded back-to-back groundouts for the first two outs in the inning. Despite being down to their final out in the inning, Marrae Saucedo and Sam Kline connected on consecutive singles to put runners at first and third.
In the next at-bat, Fisher smacked her fourth double of the season to score Kline and Saucedo to increase DU's lead to 3-0.
The Crusaders appeared to have their best scoring chance in the bottom of the third with runners on first and second with no outs, but a swinging strikeout by Alyx Slusher and a fly out from Morgan Fadel gave Welch two quick outs. One batter later, DU's catcher Lindsey Clemson picked off Lauren Kachure at third to end the inning and kept the Denison lead intact.
With the score remaining at 3-0 entering the seventh, the Big Red bats returned to action in the top of the inning when Clemson hit a two-run single up the middle, and three batters later, Brennah Dutcher joined the party with an RBI single to left that scored Clemson and gave Denison a 6-0 advantage. In the home half of the inning, Welch sat down three of the final four batters to earn her fifth victory of the season and gave DU their ninth win of the year.
Denison's offense was led by Fisher and Clemson with two RBIs each while Kline went 3-for-3 with two runs scored.
Just like Welch in game one, senior Colleen Hoffman kept the Crusaders scoreless from the pitching circle as she garnered her first complete-game shutout of the season. Over five innings pitched, Hoffman tallied zero runs on six hits with one strikeout and only allowed one extra-base hit.
The similarities continued in game two as the Big Red scored early and often, particularly in the second inning when Denison went off for four runs on six hits.
Opening the inning with a double from Bagan, Howell answered with the same in the next at-bat to score Bagan on an RBI double. Following a single from Dutcher, Hoffman drove home Howell on a groundout to second that put DU ahead 2-0.
With runners on first and second with two outs, Ricki Asher kept the offensive attack alive with an RBI single to right that scored Gabi Dufresne to add to Denison's lead. After Fisher scored Asher on a single to left, the Big Red entered the third with a 4-0 advantage.
Adding to more runs in the third, Bagan highlighted the inning with her third home run of the season while Dutcher followed with an RBI single to put Denison ahead 6-0.
Following Fisher's home run in the fourth, Hoffman and Asher drove home two more runs in the fifth to bring the run-rule into play and end the game in five innings. Hoffman moved to 4-3 on the season with the victory while Capital's Brianna Reardon fell to 5-9.
Dutcher led DU at the plate with a 3-for-3 performance while adding an RBI and a run scored. Fisher, Hoffman, and Asher each tallied two RBIs, and Bagan and Howell posted two runs scored apiece.
Capital's Fadel and Cory Mangen each recorded two hits in game two for the Crusaders.
Wrapping up their eight-game week on Sunday, April 7, the Big Red will travel to Westerville, Ohio to take on Otterbein University in a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.