The Big Red closed out spring break with a pair of losses at Cal Lutheran on Friday in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Denison suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in the opener before dropping a 7-4 decision in game two.
Game one was a classic pitcher's duel that saw one shutout bid come to an end in the sixth inning. With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Olivia Leyva legged out a triple on a ball hit to right field. The next batter, Courtney Sooy, helped her own cause by knocking in Leyva with a base hit to right for the game's first, and only, run. Denison got the leadoff runner on in the top of the seventh, but three-consecutive outs induced by Sooy secured the one-run victory.
Sooy scattered four hits and struck out two en route to her third win of the season, while DU starter Sarah Herold fell to 2-1 on the year after surrendering just one run on four hits with a career-high nine strikeouts. Emilie Fisher, Laura Bagan, Ryan Lee and Ricki Asher represented the Big Red's four hits in the opener.
In the nightcap, Denison held the lead through five and a half frames before a five-run bottom of the sixth turned the tide in favor of the Regals. After having two runners reach via base on balls with one out, the Big Red brought the tying run to the plate twice. Unfortunately, back-to-back fielder's choice outs induced by Nicole Whitemadolora ended DU's comeback bid.
Herold, Bagan and Lindsey Clemson all finished game two with two hits. Clemson registered a two-run double, while Bagan scored a pair of runs. Asher and Mckinly Vazquez also legged out doubles for the Big Red. Freshman pitcher Taryn Welch (2-1) suffered her first loss of the season after surrendering four runs out of the pen.
Denison (7-3) will return to action back in Ohio this Tuesday (March 21) when they host a doubleheader with Muskingum. Game one is scheduled to start at 3:30 pm.