Heading into the final two weeks of the regular season, DePauw (17-12, 8-0) holds a one game lead over Wittenberg (23-4-1, 7-1) which is off to its best start in school history. The Greencastle Tigers and Springfield Tigers are scheduled for a doubleheader on Wednesday in Indiana.
ALLEGHENY struggled to a 1-5 mark last week, splitting a twinbill with Hiram, before being swept in double dips by DePauw and Denison. Junior Taylor Massat (Sarver, PA/Freeport) went 6-for-18 on the week with four runs scored and two RBI, while rookie Paige Blinkiewicz (Kalamazoo, MI/Norrix) belted her first career triple and home run versus DePauw.
DENISON opened up conference play with a 6-2 record last week, winning three of those games via the run rule. The Big Red swept doubleheaders with Kenyon, Oberlin and Allegheny. Junior Kerry Hager (Louisville, KY/Eastern) hit a team-best .548 (17-for-31) with two doubles, eight runs, a stolen base and five RBI, while freshman Laura Bagan (Winnetka, IL/New Trier) posted a .483 average (14-for-29) with six extra-base hits, 14 RBI, five runs and a .793 slugging percentage. Inside the circle, sophomore Sarah Herold (Orland Park, IL/Carl Sandburg) went 4-1 with a 2.53 ERA and two complete-game shutouts. Herold fanned 20 batters, while issuing just four walks in 27.2 innings.
DEPAUW won all six games last week, including four in the NCAC to take sole possession of first in the conference. Sidney Holler (Overland Park, KS/Shawnee Mission South) was the leading hitter at .500 (8-16), while Linsey Button (Ballwin, MO/Lafayette) hit .471 (8-17) and Sammi Bell (Columbia, MO/Rock Bridge Senior) .429 (6-14). Lauren Godden (Carmel, IN/Carmel) also hit three homers in eight at-bats in a doubleheader sweep at Allegheny. Emma Baldwin (Oak Park, IL/Oak Park River Forest) posted a 3-0 record and a 1.29 ERA with 24 strikeouts in 16.1 innings.
HIRAM posted a 4-2 record last week. The Terriers earned their first conference win of the season by a 4-2 count over Allegheny on Thursday. Hiram got a 3-hit shutout from freshman Makenzie Dombrowski (Streetsboro, OH/Streetsboro) in a 1-0 win over Oberlin and junior Heather Pahoresky (Mantua, OH/Crestwood) drove in four-runs to help complete the sweep of Oberlin. On Sunday, junior Britt Zajac (Corry, PA/Corry) hit a walkoff single to cap a two-run Terrier seventh inning rally. Zajac also recorded her first win of the season in the circle.
KENYON'S eight game losing streak is the longest in four years after dropping four NCAC doubleheaders this week. Kenyon’s defense and pitching struggled as they allowed nearly seven runs a game and allowed opponents to hit .376.
OBERLIN had a rough week dropping all eight of the their conference matchups this past week. After falling in their doubleheader at Wittenberg, the Yeowomen came home and suffered two run-rule losses against Denison. On Saturday, the Yeowomen fell in a tight 1-0 loss to Hiram, before dropping the second half of the doubleheader, 11-1. Sunday’s bouts went to DePauw to close the week. The Oberlin women were in it late in game one until the Tigers busted it open and cruised to a 14-4 win.
OHIO WESLEYAN posted a 4-2 record last week, splitting games with Wooster and non-conference foe Case, before sweeping Kenyon on Sunday. Taylor Dickson (Baltimore, OH/Liberty Union) led the Bishops on the week by hitting .450 at the plate (9-for-20) with four extra base hits, 12 RBI and 15 total bases.
WITTENBERG swept three doubleheader series last week, defeating Oberlin on Tuesday, Kenyon Wednesday and Denison Saturday. The Tigers are now 23-4-1 and 7-1 in NCAC play, which is the best start in school history.. Senior Loren Combs (Cincinnati, OH/Turpin) went 10-for-20 at the plate with two extra base hits and three RBI to lead the Tigers on the week. Sophomore Chelsea Zang (Cincinnati, OH/Seton) struckout 10, allowed just two runs and scattered 12 hits in her 19.2 innings of work in the cirle last week.
WOOSTER set a season-high with 14 hits in both halves of Saturday’s doubleheader with Kenyon. Wooster had eight starters record a hit in both games. Stephenie Little (Cuyahoga Falls, OH/Stow-Munroe Falls) erupted for five RBI in the first game on a three-run home run in the seventh inning, and a two-run, two-out double in the third inning. Maddy Chase (Pleasant Prairie, WI/St. Joseph’s) picked up two wins and a save in the circle for the week.