GRANVILLE, Ohio – Highlighted by a five-RBI day from junior Brennah Dutcher, Denison softball improved to 7-3 in the North Coast Athletic Conference on Saturday afternoon following a doubleheader sweep of Ohio Wesleyan. The Big Red took game one 7-1 and won game two 10-6 to move to 16-10 on the season.
Opening the series in game one, the Big Red received a stellar pitching performance from junior Taryn Welch. Securing her second-straight nine-strikeout effort for DU, Welch tamed the Bishops over seven innings with one run on five hits and tying a career-high with nine strikeouts. The victory moved Welch to 7-5 on the season.
In the bottom of the third, back-to-back RBI base hits from Dutcher and Amanda Howell led to a three-run inning for the Big Red as they took a 5-0 advantage.
Despite an RBI single from Cami Fisk in the fourth to put OWU on the board, the Big Red responded in the fifth and sixth with solo home runs from Howell and Lindsey Clemson to secure the game-one victory.
Howell led DU with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate with two RBIs and two runs scored. Clemson also added two runs batted in while Sam Kline scored two runs.
In game two, the Big Red jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first, but the Bishops posted two runs in the second and an RBI single from Madi Drabick in the third to tie the game at 3-3. After Colleen Hoffman led off the bottom of the third with a single to left center, Dutcher put the Big Red back on top with a towering home run over the left field wall to take the lead, 5-3.
Dutcher added another RBI single in the fourth while Claire Powell tallied two runs driven in on a single to right center in the fifth. The Big Red took a 10-3 lead after five innings of play.
Despite three runs from the Bishops in the seventh, Hoffman locked down the final out of the game to secure her eighth win of the season and the series sweep.
Dutcher's big day continued in game two as she went 3-for-3 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Hoffman went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and Emilie Fisher also scored two runs.
OWU's Drabick went 2-for-4 in game two with two RBIs while Erica Buchanan and Baylee Small each collected two hits and a run scored.
Prior to the start of game one, seniors Amanda Howell, Ricki Asher, Marrae Saucedo, Laura Bagan, and Colleen Hoffman were honored for their contributions to the Denison softball program and the University during their four years in Granville.
Riding a five-game winning streak, the Big Red will return to action next Tuesday, April 23 when they hosted the Yeowomen of Oberlin College for a doubleheader set to begin at 3:30 p.m.