Tigers Capture Fourth Straight NCAC Title

Tigers Capture Fourth Straight NCAC Title

Granville, Ohio - With a pair of five-inning victories at Denison, DePauw wrapped up its fourth straight North Coast Athletic Conference title. The Tigers took a 10-1 win in the first game and handed the Big Red an 11-0 defeat in the second contest.

DePauw moved to 24-13 overall and 14-0 in NCAC play and tied its own conference record from last year with 14 NCAC wins. Denison dropped to 20-14 overall and 9-5 in NCAC play. The Tigers will host the NCAC Tournament, May 6-7.

In the opener, DePauw jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first as Liz Getz doubled and scored on Linsey Button's double. Lauren Godden's double moved Button to third before Haleigh Chasteen reached on a fielder's choice that allowed Button to score.

Denison picked up one in the bottom of the first as Katie Nichols singled and was forced at second when Kerry Hager reached on a fielder's choice. Hager moved to second and third on a pair of wild pitches before scoring on Amanda Howell's single.

The Tigers broke the game open in the fourth as Kathleen Byers singled with one out. Emma Baldwin singled, but pinch-runner Sarah Beischer was thrown out at third on the play. Gabby Smart singled Baldwin to second before Sammi Bell loaded the bases with a single.

Getz cleared the bases with a triple and then scored on Button's double. Godden singled and an error on the play allowed Button to score and give DePauw a 7-1 lead. 

Beisure led off the fifth with a single before stealing second and moving to third on a wild pitch. She then scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-1. Bell reached on an error, stole second before  Getz and Button walked and Godden delivered a two-run single down the left field line.

Getz and Godden each had three of DePauw's 14 hits, while Button added two. Nichols and Ricki Asher each had two of the Big Red's six.

Baldwin, who relieved starter Ashlee Gibson in the circle, improved to 11-8 after allowing just one hit in three innings and striking out four including all three in the fifth.

In the nightcap, Baldwin came back and faced one batter over the minimum and tossed a two-hit shutout. 

The Tigers scored three in the second on Gibson's RBI single and Bell's two-run double. They added two more in the fourth on Gibson's run-scoring single and Bell's triple that scored Gibson.

In the fifth, Button singled and Godden walked before Chasteen's bunt single moved the runners up one base and an error on the play allowed Button to score. Later in the inning, Gibson reached on an error that permitted pinch-runner Jessica Szyska to scored before Bell and Megan Montgomery followed with bases loaded walks. Button then delivered a two-run single that extended the lead to 11-0.

Bell, Button, Chasteen and Gibson each had two of DePauw's 10 hits and Bell drove in four. Herold and Howell each had singles for the Big Red.

Baldwin moved to 12-8 with five more innings of scoreless pitching with nine strikeouts and no walks which totaling just 62 pitches, of which 47 were strikes. Erin Laswell dropped to 2-2 with the loss.

DePauw wraps up NCAC play on Saturday when it hosts Kenyon in a 1 p.m. doubleheader.