GRANVILLE, Ohio - Denison softball improved to 5-3 in the North Coast Athletic Conference on Wednesday evening following a doubleheader sweep of Kenyon College at the Kenyon Softball Complex in Gambier. The Big Red took the first game 7-1 before earning an 8-2 comeback victory over the Ladies in game two. The pair of victories send Denison to 14-10 overall while Kenyon falls to 17-15 on the season and 4-4 in NCAC play.
In the opening game of the series, the Big Red received an impressive showing from junior Taryn Welch in the pitching circle. Throwing her sixth complete game of the season, Welch allowed one run on three hits with a career-high nine strikeouts to earn her sixth win of the season.
After Welch and Kenyon starter Emily Pater kept both sides scoreless through the first inning, the Big Red broke the scoreless tie in the second when freshman Claire Powell connected on a two-run single to score Sam Kline and Rickie Asher as Denison took the first lead of the game, 2-0.
Leading 5-1 in the top of the sixth, Denison added two more runs to Welch's lead when Dutcher tallied her third hit of the game on an RBI single and Amanda Howell notched an RBI double to right. The Big Red carried a 7-1 lead into the seventh. Following a lead-off walk to Nicole Bishay, Welch sat down the next three batters to earn the win and give DU their 13th win of the season.
Kline and Dutcher each went 3-for-4 in game one with the pair combining for three runs scored. Asher added two hits, two RBIs and a run while Lindsey Clemson went 2-for-5 with a run scored.
In game two, the Ladies jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage after Britny Patterson and Pater each recorded RBI singles in the bottom of the first. With the Big Red still trailing 2-0 in the top of the third, Dutcher erased the deficit with one swing of the bat when the junior launched a two-run home run to left field and tied the game at 2-2.
After a single from Colleen Hoffman and a Kenyon error helped Denison take a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth, the Big Red took control in the fifth when Howell tallied a home run to left center and Asher, Hoffman, Emilie Fisher, and Sarah Hamre each added RBIs to put DU ahead 8-2 after five innings of action.
Hoffman locked down her third-straight complete game after sitting down six of the final seven Kenyon batters to earn her seventh win of the season. In seven innings of action, Hoffman scattered six hits for two runs and posted two strikeouts. The performance also lowered her season ERA to 2.23.
Hoffman also impressed at the plate going 3-for-5 in game two with an RBI. Marrae Saucedo went 3-for-3 with two runs scored while Howell went 3-for-4 and Fisher and Dutcher also added multi-hit games.
Patterson and Pater each added two hits for Kenyon in game two while Grace Finn and Sara Campagna scored one run apiece.
The Big Red will return to Granville this Saturday, April 20 when they begin their six-game homestand with the Battling Bishops of Ohio Wesleyan. Game one of the doubleheader will begin at 1 p.m.