The DePauw Tigers took sole possession of second place in the North Coast Athletic Conference following a doubleheader sweep of the Big Red on Tuesday. Denison dropped a razor-thin 4-3 decision in game one before falling 2-0 in the nightcap.
After three scoreless frames in the opener it was the Big Red that took the early advantage. Junior Lauren Secaras reached safely with a one-out double to right. Secaras' two-base hit resulted in a pitching change that brought Devin Pieper inside the circle. The junior moved up 60 feet on a ground out to second before coming around to score via an infield single by Lindsey Clemson.
The Tigers responded in the bottom of the fourth when Sidney Holler hit a two-out, two-run homer to left that put the home team in front by one. Defensive miscues allowed Denison to regain the lead in the fifth. Junior Mckinly Vazquez reached on a third-strike wild pitch. With two outs, senior Ryan Lee reached on a single to short before a fielding error by the DePauw shortstop allowed both Vazquez and Lee to score.
Once again, the home team answered in the bottom of the frame. A two-out double up the middle from Gabby Smart plated Andi Sarkisian and Sarah Beischer. Neither team had a batter reach base over the final inning and a half, resulting in a one-run victory for the Tigers. Lee and Secaras each had a hit and a run, while Clemson recorded the Big Red's other base hit. Sarah Herold (10-5) suffered the loss after allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits with two strikeouts and two walks in five innings of work. Freshman Taryn Welch closed out the game, needing only nine pitches to retire the side in order.
In the finale, the only two runs of the game came in the second inning. Kathleen Byers was hit by an Erin Laswell pitch with the bases loaded to drive in Alyssa Nowak. Pinch hitter Julia Bork followed with an RBI single to right that placed Abey Bass. Bork's base hit forced a defensive shift that resulted in Secaras moving into the pitching circle. The junior needed just five pitches to close out the home half of the second via line out back to the circle and a fly out to Montana Schug in right.
The two runs were all the Tiger pitching trio of Brooke Bandy, Bork and Pieper need as they combined for seven innings of scoreless ball. Each pitcher allowed just one run, however, eight errors by the DePauw defense kept the Big Red in the game early. In the top of the second, a hit and two errors resulted in Denison getting to runners in scoring position. Unfortunately a foul out to third ended that scoring opportunity. Two inning later, three miscues got a pair of runners on and moved them into scoring position once again. However, back-to-back strikeouts and a fielder's choice out got Bork out of the jam.
Laura Bagan, Clemson and Schug accounted for Denison's three hits. Laswell (7-4) took the loss after giving up just two runs on five hits in 1.1 innings. Secaras tossed 4.2 shutout frames surrendering one hit while striking out three.
Denison (25-13, 9-5 NCAC) will wrap up the regular season on Saturday (April 29) when they host Allegheny for Senior Day. Game one of the doubleheader is slated to start at 1 p.m.