DU earns split behind Dyer’s gem
Junior pitcher Rebecca Dyer tossed a two-hit gem in game one as the Big Red edged North Coast Athletic Conference rival Kenyon, 1-0. The Ladies salvaged the doubleheader split with an 8-6 victory in eight inning in the nightcap.
The story of game one was the pitching battle between Dyer and Kenyon sophomore Maddy Stark. The two hurlers combined to scatter six hits and strikeout 13 batters over the course of seven innings. Stark allowed a single run on four hits with five Ks and two walks. Dyer countered that performance with a two-hit, eight-strikeout outing of her own, leading DU to the victory.
With the win, the junior picked up her fifth shutout of the season and the 16th of her career, tying the school record set by Denison Hall of Famer Courtney Zollars' (1999-2002).
The Big Red's game-winning run came in the top of the fourth inning. Juniors Gretchen Staubach and Meghan Edwards got things going with back-to-back one-out singles. Rachel Laughlin followed with an RBI double to left that scored Staubach. After gaining the 1-0 lead, Dyer (11-6) went into lockdown mode as she allowed just two base runners and struck out four over the final three frames.
The second game featured a lot more offense as the two squads pounded out 27 hits and touched the dish 14 times. DU jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second behind five hits and one Kenyon miscue. Emily Lipsitz broke the scoreless tie with a single to right center that drove in senior Jess Robertson. Lipsitz and freshman Grace Finkbiner came around to score later in the inning thanks to the error. Edwards knocked in the final run with a base hit to center.
The Ladies shrunk the deficit to 4-3 in the third thanks to four hits and two errors by the Big Red defense. Sophomore Julie Rooney extended Denison's lead to three with a two-run home run to center field. The long ball was Rooney's second of her collegiate career. Kenyon tied the contest in the bottom of the frame with an RBI double by Chelsea Delaney and a two-run homer by Lindsey Susolik.
The score remained tied at 6-6 as the two squads went into extra innings. In the top of the eighth, a pair of singles and an error loaded the bases with one out. However, Stark induced a pair of infield pop outs to escape the jam. In the bottom of the frame, Jamie Samuel reached base with a single to center field. With one on and one out, Delaney completed the Ladies' comeback with a walk-off home run to left center.
Staubach and Edwards both went 3-for-5, while senior Rosie Glaser was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Rooney scored twice and drove in a run, while Edwards and Lipsitz also recorded an RBI. Robertson, Lipsitz, Finkbiner and Glaser represented DU's other four runs.
Dyer suffered the loss in relief. She allowed two runs on four hits with one strikeout in 4.1 innings. Dyer's nine Ks on the day moved her one strikeout behind former DU standout Bri Scrofano (2005-08) for second on the school's career list. The junior currently has 334 career strikeouts. Starter Kelsey Hager gave up six runs on 10 hits with a strikeout and two walks in three innings of work.
Denison moves to 20-14 overall and 8-6 in the NCAC, while Kenyon sits at 21-12 and 9-5 in league play. The Big Red closes out conference play on Saturday when they travel to Hiram College for a doubleheader with the Terriers. Game one is slated to begin at 1 p.m.