GRANVILLE, Ohio -- The Big Red extended their current winning streak to six games following a doubleheader sweep of Marietta College on Sunday afternoon. Denison rallied from two deficits to earn a 5-4 win in the opener before pitching a two-hit shutout in the finale (3-0).
Game one was a back-and-forth thriller that featured two go-ahead home runs. Trailing by a run, a lead-off single by Mckinly Vazquez and a two-out walk to Ricki Asher put the go-ahead run on in the home half of the third. With the count even, junior Lauren Secaras sent a 2-2 pitch over the left center wall to give the Big Red a 3-1 lead after three innings.
DU maintained the lead until the fifth when Kaitlin Klinchock hit a three-run homer to put the Pioneers back in front 4-3. Vazquez opened the bottom of the fifth with a base hit through the right side. With one down, a single up the middle by Ryan Lee put the game-tying run at third. Asher tied the contest with an RBI ground out that scored Vazquez and moved Lee into scoring position. Secaras followed with a base hit to right that brought home Lee, giving the Big Red a 5-4 edge.
Now pitching with a one-run lead, freshman Taryn Welch returned to the circle in the sixth to nail down the win. Welch got Alyssa Cook to line out to Vazquez before Lauren Rockocy dropped a one-out single into center. The freshman hurler proceeded to strike out Brey Mays and induce a ground out to Asher at second. In the seventh, Stephanie Zentz lined out to Charlotte Happel and Ali Prologo grounded out to Lee at short for two quick outs. Welch brought the game to an end when she snagged a grounder by Cierra Bloom and threw onto Secaras for the final out.
Secaras finished with a home run and four RBIs, while Vazquez had two hits and scored two of the team's five runs. Lee, Asher and Kerry Hager recorded DU's other three hits. Welch (3-2) earned the win after giving up three earned runs (four totals) on six hits with five strikeouts.
In the nightcap, sophomore Colleen Hoffman tossed her first-career complete-game shutout after scattering two hits and striking out one en route to her second win of the season. Hoffman retired the first 11 batters she faced before issuing a two-out walk in the fourth inning. The sophomore carried a no hitter into the fifth before a lead-off single by Cook ended that bid. Hoffman needed just 89 pitches to earn the shutout as she induced 10 fly ball outs and 10 ground outs.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the third, Secaras dropped a single into right that scored Sarah Herold from third. Lee also came around to score on the play when the Pioneer right fielder over ran the junior's single. Denison freshman Montana Schug added an insurance run in the fifth when she plated Laura Bagan with a two-out single up the middle. The hit was the first of Schug's career.
Marietta's second hit came with two outs in the sixth when Bloom deposited a single into short left center. In the seventh, Cook and Rockocy popped up to Secaras and Lee for the first two outs. Pinch hitter Bailey Bennett was the final out on a ball hit to Schug in right.
Herold and Bagan both went 3-for-4 with a run-in game two, while Secaras recorded two hits and drove in a run.
Denison improves to 19-7 with the sweep, while the Pioneers fall to 11-17 on the year. The Big Red returns to North Coast Athletic Conference play on Tuesday (April 11) when they travel to Springfield, Ohio for a doubleheader against Wittenberg. Game one of the twinbill is slated to start at 3:30 p.m.