HIRAM, Ohio – Highlighted by 28 runs on 29 hits for the day, Denison softball opened North Coast Athletic Conference play on Wednesday afternoon with a doubleheader sweep at Hiram College, winning game one 13-1 in five innings, and game two, 15-7, in six innings.
With junior Taryn Welch taking the circle in game one, the Big Red gave their starting pitcher plenty of room to work with after posting 11 runs in the third inning.
Tied at 1-1 entering the third, back-to-back walks to Laura Bagan and Amanda Howell put runners on first and second with no outs. After Brennah Dutcher was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Emily DeSheles tallied a two-run single that scored Howell and Bagan to give the Big Red back the lead, 4-1.
Following a walk to Emilie Fisher that scored a run three batters later, three-straight fielding errors by the Terriers resulted in four more runs for Denison to increase their lead to 8-1.
Batting around nearly twice through the third, Howell added her first RBI of the game with a single to right center that scored Bagan and DeSheles tallied the first home run of her DU career on a three-run shot down the right-field line to help the Big Red carry a 12-1 advantage into the fourth.
Denison added another run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Marrae Saucedo and shut down the Terriers in the home half of the inning to secure the game-one victory.
Helping the Big Red stay in front, Welch earned the pitching victory to improve to 4-2 on the season. In five innings of work, Welch allowed one run on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts. The loss went to Hiram's Bailey Scheck as she dropped to 2-6 on the year.
DeSheles led Denison with a career-high five RBIs and one run scored on two hits. Dutcher and Claire Powell also added multi-hit performances for the Big Red while four different players scored two or more runs.
In game two, the offensive explosion continued for the Big Red after producing seven runs through the first two innings of action.
Leading 2-0 following a two-run double from Howell in the first, the Terriers committed three of their four errors in the top of the second to help the Big Red collect five runs on six hits and take a 7-0 lead into the bottom of the frame.
Denison carried an 8-3 advantage into the fifth and added to the lead on RBI base hits from Bagan and Lindsey Clemson. Hiram chipped away at their deficit once again in the bottom of the fifth with a two-run single from Giselle Chavez to cut the Big Red lead back to five, 10-5.
Adding five more runs on six hits in the sixth, Powell and Ricki Asher each posted RBI singles for DU while Clemson ripped a three-run triple to left center that cleared the bases and put Denison ahead for good. Two more runs by Hiram in the bottom of the sixth wasn't enough as the Big Red secured the NCAC sweep and moved to 8-6 overall and 2-0 in the conference. The Terriers dropped to 3-15-1 overall and 0-2 in the NCAC.
Starting pitcher Colleen Hoffman moved to 3-3 on the season with the victory after totaling three runs on six hits and five strikeouts through 4.2 innings pitched. HC's Chase Martinez was tagged with the loss as she moved to 1-4 on the season.
Boasting 15 runs on 20 hits in game two, Fisher, Howell, Dutcher, and Clemson each tallied three hits for DU, while Clemson added a team-high five runs batted in and added three runs scored. Fisher also scored three runs for the Big Red.
Hiram's Martinez and Giselle Bahena both went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
The Big Red will stay on the road this Thursday, April 4 when they travel to Bexley, Ohio for a matchup with Capital University. The doubleheader will begin at 3 p.m.