GRANVILLE, Ohio – Defiance reached the 25-win plateau for the sixth time in school history with a sweep of Denison University, helping head coach Jodie Holava win the 100th game of her four-year coaching career. The Jackets took the opener 9-2, before holding on for a 4-3 win in the nightcap.
Holava becomes the second coach in Defiance College history to reach the century mark in wins, pushing her career record to 101-66 with a school-best .605 winning percentage. DC has recorded 25 victories twice during Holava's tenure and will look to add to this season's win total with an extended run in the HCAC Tournament.
After starting the opening game of the doubleheader with five scoreless innings, DC finally broke through in the top of the sixth. Amanda Auzins and Aarika Davis opened up the inning with back-to-back singles, before each crossing the plate on Melanie Bushman's two-bagger to left field. Defiance would keep the hit parade rolling, as Kayla Crager and Marah Robinson tallied consecutive RBI singles to extend the lead.
One out later, Allison Ramsay plated Crager and Robinson with a single to center, helping the Jackets bat through the lineup in the inning. Auzins rounded out the scoring in the top half of the sixth frame, driving in Ramsay with a double to help Defiance take a commanding 7-0 lead.
Denison broke up DC starter Justine Johnston's shutout bid with a run in the home half of in the inning, but the Jackets would get that run back and more with a pair of scores in the seventh. Robinson plated her second run of the game in the seventh, earning a free pass with the bases loaded. Ramsay helped Defiance add another run in the inning, putting DC out in front 9-1 with a run-scoring single up the middle.
The Big Red pushed a run across in the bottom of the seventh, but it would not be enough as Defiance improved to 13-4 on the road this season with a 9-2 victory.
Coming off a complete-game shutout of Mount St. Joseph on Saturday, Johnston stretched her scoreless innings streak to 12 with five shutout frames to open up the contest. The senior went the distance for the 76th time in her career, moving past Francine Wahrman for the top spot on DC's career list. Johnston improves to 14-9 on the year, giving up two unearned runs on six hits.
The Jackets carried over their momentum from the lop-sided victory in game one, scoring a run in each of the first three innings in the second game of the doubleheader. Bushman gave Defiance a 1-0 advantage in the first, driving in Tasha Stucke with a single to left field. After Denison answered with a run of its own in the bottom half of the frame, Robinson returned the lead to DC with a solo shot to center. Bushman matched the feat an inning later, knocking a ball of the fence in left center to help Defiance grab a 3-1 lead.
The Big Red would score a run in each of the next two innings to knot the game, 3-3, but the Jackets would answer once again with a run off a Denison throwing error. Starter Kelly Schnipke took care of the rest, shutting out Denison over the final three innings to record the 10th victory of the year. The sophomore hurler gave up three runs on nine hits, while fanning five in a complete-game effort.
After a pair of low-scoring doubleheaders last weekend, the DC bats came to life in the non-conference matchup with 21 hits on the afternoon. Bushman led the Jackets with five hits and four RBI on the day, while Ramsay tallied four hits in the two games with a career-high three RBI in the opener. Robinson, who hit the 12th long ball of her career in game two, drove in three runs on two hits in the twinbill.
Defiance returns to action on Friday, May 1, when it faces rival Bluffton University in the opening round of the 2009 HCAC Tournament. DC will look to move towards its second-straight conference tournament title, as it begins play at 12:00 p.m. on the campus of Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky.