March 30, 2013

Ozbun becomes all-time wins leader in split with Gators

Denison Head Softball Coach Tiffany Ozbun became the program's all-time leader in victories following an 8-5 decision in game two against Allegheny on Saturday in Granville.  The Big Red dropped the first game, 4-0, moving their North Coast Athletic Conference record to 1-1.

In her sixth year as head coach at Denison, Ozbun has collected 146 victories and boasts a .646 winning percentage.  She has led DU to three NCAC regular season titles and three NCAA Regional Tournament appearances.

The Gators jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first in game two.  However, Denison senior Jess Robertson erased the deficit in the bottom of the inning with one swing of the bat.  With runners at first and second and two outs, the NCAC Hitter of the Week blasted a three-run shot over the left field wall to tie the contest at 3-3.

In the fourth, the Big Red plated three more runs to take the lead.  Junior catcher Meghan Edwards broke the tie with an infield hit that scored pinch runner Ellen McDevitt-Stredney.  After a walk loaded the bases, Robertson laced a double to left center that placed Edwards and Julie Rooney.

Allegheny trimmed the deficit to 6-5 with a pair of runs in the fifth, but a two-run sixth rebuilt DU's three-run advantage.  A single to center by Rachel Laughlin knocked in Rooney, while a Robertson sacrifice fly to left plated Edwards.

The one through five hitters in the Denison line-up went a combined 11-for-17 with eight RBIs, seven runs.  Rooney and Edwards both went 3-for-4, while Robertson was a perfect 2-for-2 with six RBIs. Robertson's six runs batted in tied the Denison single-game record matched previously by Claire Kopko in 2006 and Erica Evans in 2010.

Junior hurler Kelsey Hager picked up her fifth win of the season after surrendering five runs (three earned) on six hits with five strikeouts in seven innings.  Caitlin Nealer took the loss after allowing eight runs on 12 hits.

In the opener, four third-inning runs were all the Gators needed to secure the win.  Halea Hayden drove in three of the runs with a bases-clearing double, while an errant thrown allowed the fourth run to cross.  Nealer picked up the win after giving up just one hit in seven frames.

Rebecca Dyer (4-3) gave up four runs (three earned) on three hits with seven Ks in the losing effort.  Emily Lipsitz broke up the no-hitter with a base knock in the seventh inning.

Denison moves to 9-5 on the year and 1-1 in the NCAC, while Allegheny now sits at 8-12 and 1-1 in league play.  The Big Red continues league action on Tuesday when they host Oberlin College.  Game one is slated to begin at 3:30 p.m.