HANOVER, Ind. – Defiance outscored Hanover College 17-0 on Saturday, sweeping the HCAC doubleheader to move into the conference lead with a 10-2 mark. The Jackets only needed five innings to record the victory in both contests, winning the opener, 8-0, before claiming the finale, 9-0.
The pair of victories helped DC reach the 20-win plateau for the sixth-consecutive season with the last four of those campaigns coming under the tutelage of head coach Jodie Holava. The Jackets have won one HCAC regular season titles in that span, while also claiming three conference tournament crowns.
Defiance grabbed a 1-0 advantage in the second, as a Hanover error allowed Tasha Stucke to cross the plate for what would turn out to be the only run the Jackets would need.
DC put the game out of reach in the fourth frame, pushing six runs across in the inning to take a commanding 7-0 lead. Kayla Crager drove in pinch runner Katelyn Samples with a two-out single down the left field line to start the Jackets' fireworks, before Melanie Bushman pushed Defiance's lead to four with a two-run home run to left field. Amanda Auzins kept the inning alive with a single to score Stephanie Lieto and Allison Ramsay, while crossing the plate herself on Marah Robinson's base-hit to left field.
Crager closed out the scoring for the day in the fifth, scoring Aarika Davis on a fielder's choice to give DC the 8-0 win.
Justine Johnston pitched her third shutout of the season to record the victory, giving up just five hits in the game. The senior pitcher, who earned the win in both contests, improves to 12-6 on the year.
Defiance used another explosive inning to take the second game of the doubleheader, scoring eight of its nine runs in the top half of the fifth. Auzins, Mallory Faling, Ramsay, Robinson and Stucke all drove in runs in DC's big inning, helping the Jackets win their fourth-straight contest.
Johnston and Kelly Schnipke combined for a shutout in the nightcap, as Johnston opened the contest with three shutout innings while Schnipke earned the save with a pair of one-two-three innings.
The Jackets finished the twinbill with 23 hits, as five players tallied three hits on the afternoon. Auzins and Bushman topped the team with three RBI, while Crager, Faling and Robinson all drove in a pair of runs.
Defiance (21-10) returns to action on Tuesday, April 21, when they play host to non-conference foe Alma College. The first pitch is set for 3:00 p.m.