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Jackets Move Into HCAC Lead with Sweep of Franklin

Jackets Move Into HCAC Lead with Sweep of Franklin

FRANKLIN, Ind. – Defiance racked up 25 runs in two games to sweep its HCAC twinbill with Franklin College on Friday. DC exploded for nine runs in the seventh to take the opener, 15-3, before cruising to a 10-4 victory in the final game of doubleheader to improve to 19-10 overall and 8-2 in conference play.

The Jackets jumped into a three-way tie for the conference lead with the pair of victories, moving one step closer to their second HCAC regular season title in the last three seasons.

DC scored two runs in each of the first three innings to grab an early 6-3 advantage over the host Grizzlies, as Mallory Faling, Marah Robinson and Tasha Stucke each drove in runs during that span.

After three scoreless innings, the Jackets took advantage of four Franklin errors to open the floodgates in the seventh. Defiance was able to see its lead swell to seven early in the frame, scoring four runs before the Grizzlies were able to record the first out of the inning.

Aarika Davis kept the big inning going for DC with a sacrifice fly to plate Auzins, followed by Stucke's RBI single that scored Robinson. Pinch runner Julie Miller scored Defiance's seventh run of the inning on a throwing error, before Melanie Bushman's  two-run double in the gap rounded out the scoring for the game.

Justine Johnston recorded the victory for Defiance, giving up three runs, two earned, in her 14th complete-game effort of the season to improve to 10-6 on the year. Johnston, the school's all-time leader in victories, has now reached the 10-win plateau in each of her four seasons with the Jackets, pushing her career total to 57.

DC scored in five of its seven frames in the nightcap to roll to its fifth-straight conference victory. 

Stucke put Defiance on the board first with a run-scoring single in the opening inning of the contest. Auzins played a part in each of DC's two runs in the second, driving in Allison Ramsay with a triple before scoring on a wild pitch.

Faling hit her fourth long ball of the season in the third, driving a shot over the fence in left center to give the Jackets a 4-2 lead. Defiance would go on to score twice in the fifth, before closing out the scoring on the day with a four-run sixth.

Kelly Schnipke moved to 8-4 in 2009 with the victory, giving up four runs, three earned, in six innings of work. Brittany Gow closed out the win with a scoreless seventh in relief action.

The Jackets tallied 24 hits in the series, as all nine starters recorded a hit on the day. Bushman and Stucke each finished with four hits in the twinbill to lead DC, while Stucke topped the team with five runs driven in.

Defiance will be back in action tomorrow, April 18, when they face Hanover College in a HCAC doubleheader. DC only needs one more victory to reach the 20-win mark for the sixth consecutive season, with four of those campaigns coming under the guidance of head coach Jodie Holava.