GRANVILLE, OHIO -- Needing to come away with a pair of victories to secure a spot in the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament, the Hiram College softball team split a pair of games against Denison University winning the first game, 7-6, but losing the nightcap, 1-0, in a NCAC doubleheader in Granville.
With the split, the Terriers end their season with a 19-17 overall record and 9-7 in the NCAC. The Big Red improve to 24-16 overall and 9-7 NCAC and will qualify for the NCAC Tournament via tiebreaker over Hiram.
In game one, Denison looked to be in control scoring six runs in the bottom of the second inning. Hiram got one of those runs back in the top of the third on a solo homerun by freshman outfielder Miranda Wright (Richfield/Revere), her second of the season, to make the score 6-1. The Terriers narrowed the gap even more with four runs in the sixth that included a pair of two-run homeruns by senior All-Region outfielder Kristen Cooney (North Lewisburg/Triad) and senior All-Region first baseman Alee Singer (Akron/Dayton) to get Hiram to within a run at 6-5. Hiram then took the lead in the top of the seventh with a two-RBI single by Singer, putting the Terriers up on top, 7-6. Following a pair of Denison foul outs to begin the bottom of the seventh inning, the Big Red then recorded back-to-back singles and got the tying run in scoring position, but with two outs. Hiram then got the final out on an ensuing strikeout to post the 7-6 come-from-behind victory.
Hiram was led at the plate by Cooney and Singer who both finished the game with a pair of hits. Cooney finished two-of-four with two runs scored and two RBI. Singer went two-of-four with a runs scored and four RBI.
Freshman pitcher Taylor Charles (Akron/Ellet) got the start, but lasted an inning-and-a-third while allowing six runs on seven hits. Junior Ashley Hinkle (Parma) came on to pitch an inning and two-thirds of relief giving up no runs and four hits while striking out one batter. Senior Amethyst Brigham (Middlefield) pitched the final four innings allowing no runs and four hits while posting four strikeouts. She would get credit for the win to improve to 5-6 for the season.
In the nightcap, the game turned into a pitcher's dual until the bottom of the seventh inning when Dension scored the game's only run with runners on second and third. The lone run came with one out as the Big Red captured game two in walk-off fashion by the final of 1-0.
Four different Hiram players each recorded a base hit in the game. Sophomore outfielder Sarah Loyer (Barrie, Ont./St. Joseph's) finished one-of-two at the plate, while Cooney and Singer both ended the game one-of-three overall. Senior All-Region second baseman Kelly Langland (Batavia/McNicholas) also had a one-of-two effort at the plate.
On the mound, Brigham pitched the entire game going six and two-thirds innings giving up the lone run while striking out five batters. She would be credited with the loss and ends the year with a 5-7 record.