CLAREMONT, Calif. -- The Denison softball team will enter their off day riding a six-game winning streak following a twinbill sweep of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Wednesday at Athena Field. The Big Red won game one 8-1 before completing the sweep with a 5-2 victory in the finale.
In the opener, senior pitcher Erin Laswell tossed a complete-game gem en route to her second victory of 2017. Laswell faced the minimum in three of her seven innings while striking out three and scattering four hits. The senior's final K capped off her outstanding performance as she fanned Abigail Metsch to end the contest.
Laswell's pitching display was backed by the high-powered Denison offense that produced eight runs on the strength of 12 hits. With the bases loaded in the top of the first, sophomore Ricki Asher knocked in senior Kerry Hager with an infield single to short. Senior Ryan Lee and junior Mckinly Vazquez extended the DU lead in the second. Lee scored on a wild pitch by Erin Alexander, while Vazquez safely touched the plate on a sac fly to center by Sarah Herold. The Athenas answered with a solo run in the bottom of the second while Lee knocked in freshman Lindsey Clemson in the top of the fourth to rebuild a three-run advantage.
The Big Red broke the game open in the fifth with four runs on five hits. Junior Lauren Secaras kicked off the scoring in the frame with a double to right center that scored Emilie Fisher from first base. With the bags full, Clemson delivered a base hit to center that scored pinch runner Maddie Crull. Two batters later, Vazquez dropped a single into left that allowed Laura Bagan to cross the plate. Herold finished off the four-run inning with a ground out to short that scored Clemson.
Vazquez finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run, while Fisher and Lee both collected two hits. Herold knocked in a pair, while Clemson scored twice. Herold and Hager both swiped a bag.
Laswell's performance in the game one seemed to inspire DU freshman Taryn Welch. Welch (2-0) put together arguably the best outing of her short college career, allowing two unearned runs on eight hits with a career-high five strikeouts.
With the nightcap still scoreless after two frames, the Big Red ended the scoring drought with a pair of runs in the top of the third. Fisher delivered a bases loaded single that scored Crull, while a miscue on a ball put in play by Secaras allowed Herold to touch the dish. CMS cut the deficit in half in the home half of the third when pitcher Chloe Amarilla helped her own cause by singling in Alison Jue.
Both starting pitchers successfully kept the opposition off the board until Denison broke through for three more tallies in the sixth. Fisher and Charlotte Happel each scored on a wild pitch by Amarilla. Following the wild pitch that scored Happel, Vazquez knocked in Clemson with a single to center. Jue drove in Marissa Valdovinos in the seventh to shrink the margin to three, but consecutive outs to right, center and second secured Welch's second victory.
Fisher recorded two of the Big Red's five hits, one of which was a triple. Clemson swiped a base and scored a run, while Herold, Fisher, Happel and Crull represented the other four DU runs.
Denison (7-1) will wrap up their spring break trip on Friday (March 17) against Cal Lutheran. Game one of the doubleheader is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. ET.