The Denison softball team split a pair of games on the opening day of the 2013 season in Clermont, Fla. The Big Red knocked off Cornell College, 9-1, in six innings before dropping a 5-2 decision to Haverford.
In the opener, Denison pounded out 14 hits and got a solid performance inside the circle from pitcher Rebecca Dyer. The junior hurler struck out nine batters, gave up one run on one hit and issued just one free pass over six innings of work.
After mustering just three hits in the first four frames, the DU offense erupted for seven runs on eight hits in the fifth. With runners at first and second, Dyer helped her own cause with an RBI single that plated senior Rosie Glaser. Junior catcher Meghan Edwards followed with a double to right center that knocked in Julie Rooney and Dyer, giving the Big Red a three-run lead.
After starting pitcher Amanda Engel issued a base-on-balls to Rachel Laughlin, the Rams brought Jackie Semek out of the bullpen. Semek quickly loaded the bases after walking senior Jess Robertson. Denison wasted no time making the Cornell College pitching staff pay. With the bases juiced, sophomore Emily Lipsitz roped a single to left that cleared the bases and put the Big Red on top 6-0. On the play, Lipsitz moved up to second on a misplayed ball in left. Lipsitz eventually came around to score on a single by Kelsey Hager.
In the sixth inning, the Rams broke up both the no-hit and shutout bids for Dyer. With two outs, Brittani Yost went yard to put Cornell College on the board. Prior to the long ball, Dyer retired 15-consecutive Ram hitters. Edwards led off the bottom of the frame with a double to right center. After a Laughlin single to center put runners at the corners, Robertson laced a double that easily scored Edwards. Laughlin also came around to score the game-ending run thanks to an error by the Cornell shortstop.
Hager led the offense with three hits, while Edwards, Robertson, Lipsitz and Glaser all posted two hits. Edwards and Lipsitz each drove in a pair, while Edwards and Laughlin scored two runs each.
In the nightcap, the Fords strung together five runs over the first three innings to take the early lead. In the fifth frame, Denison plated a pair behind RBI singles from Edwards and Laughlin. However, Haverford pitcher Emily Winesett settled down and kept DU off the scoreboard over the final two innings to secure her third win of the season. Hager (0-1) suffered the loss after giving up five runs on 11 hits with two strikeouts. Offensively, Rooney and Hager each logged a pair of hits.
Denison (1-1) returns to the field on Monday when they take on The College of New Jersey at 9 a.m. and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at 11 a.m.