By Noah Nash
Kenyon’s softball team (26-8) capped off a highly successful week with a doubleheader sweep against Denison University. Earlier in the week, the Ladies beat Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) twice and split their doubleheader with Wittenberg University, finishing with a 5-1 record.
The Ladies’ success began on Saturday when they traveled to Delaware, Ohio to take on Ohio Wesleyan in a weekend doubleheader. The team was coming off a 7-0 victory against Hiram College and kept their momentum going as they held a 5-0 lead through five innings against OWU. Despite OWU’s late rally, the Ladies held on for a 6-4 victory. Maddy Stark ’15 pitched seven innings for the victory, while her classmate Chelsea Delaney ’15 picked up three base hits to lead the scoring punch.
The Ladies also took an early lead in the second game of the day, with the team holding a 4-1 advantage through two innings, and a 7-2 lead through four. Stark pitched her second complete game victory of the day as the team held on to win 7-3 and reward Stark with her 14th win of the season. Lindsey Susolik ’16 and Jane Ghublikian ’16 combined for five hits and five RBI.
The next day, the Ladies took on Wittenberg University at home for their third and fourth games in a two-day stretch. Stark started her third straight game, and the Ladies once again shot out to an early 2-0 lead. However, the Tigers had some momentum left in them, going on to tie the game late at two on a sixth-inning solo home run and a critical, game-tying error in the seventh inning. The Ladies and Tigers remained deadlocked at two runs apiece until the bottom of the ninth, when shortstop Amanda Coyle ’18 hit a walk-off sac fly for Kenyon’s third-straight win, 3-2. Stark pitched all nine innings for the win, striking out eight while allowing just one earned run in her third-straight complete-game victory.
Stark’s streak of complete-game victories would come to a close in the back end of the doubleheader, as the Tigers used a late-inning rally to end Kenyon’s four-game winning streak with a 6-3 win over the Ladies. Fatigue may have kicked in for Stark, who allowed five earned runs in 5.1 innings to earn the loss. On the offensive side, Hayley Howard ’15 collected two base hits and two RBI, including a run-scoring double.
Despite seeing their winning streak come to a conclusion at the paws of the Tigers, the Ladies came out firing on all cylinders against Denison. Using a four-run rally in the fourth to take a 6-2 lead, the Ladies would go on to win 7-5 despite Stark’s second-straight game of allowing five earned runs. However, Stark would bear down when the team needed her the most, inducing a 5-2-3 double play to end the game and strand the bases loaded.
In the nightcap, Delaney collected four hits, including three doubles, to highlight the team’s six-run effort offensively. Delaney said pf her performance, “Going up to bat, I felt very relaxed and ready to face Denison’s pitcher during the second game and was pleased with the outcome.”
Stark, making her sixth start of the week, dazzled with seven scoreless innings to secure the Ladies’ second doubleheader sweep of the week, and just the second doubleheader sweep of Denison in Kenyon history. With the win, Stark boosted her W-L record to a strong 17-7.
The Ladies will look for their doubleheader success to continue on Saturday, when they take on the College of Wooster (14-10) on the road.