TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Two weeks ago, the Yellow Jackets were 5-4 in the HCAC and at risk of missing the conference tournament. Today, the Jackets improved to 10-4 in the conference with a sweep of Rose-Hulman, and have clinched a spot in the HCAC Tournament.
Defiance got another spectacular start from Shauna Bowers in game one, as she held Rose-Hulman scoreless on four hits in DC's 8-0 victory. Kelly Schnipke followed suit in game two, holding the Engineers to just two runs as DC completed the series sweep with a 9-2 decision.
The Jackets produced half of the first contest's runs in the third inning, when Macy Ferrall and Aubrie Ridinger both singled to start the inning, and Tasha Stucke drove home the first run of the day with a double. Mallory Faling batted next and stroked a two-run double that scored Stucke and Ridinger, and Kaycee Butt tacked on one more with a RBI single that gave DC a 4-0 lead.
Faling made it a 5-0 advantage in the top of the fifth with a two-out solo home run, her third of the season, and Defiance added three insurance runs on four hits in the top of the seventh to put the game out of reach. Bowers picked up her third complete-game shutout victory of the season, and her third win in the past two days.
Defiance wasted little time establishing a lead in the second contest, scoring four runs on four hits in the first inning. Miller drove in the first run with a single that scored Marah Robinson, who reached on a fielder's choice, and following a single from Petrie, Stephanie Esquibel drove in three runs with a bases-clearing double. Esquibel had just one double in her first 32 games for the Yellow Jackets, but has now recorded a double in three of the Jackets' last four games.
Faling recorded her conference-leading 13th double of the season to start the second inning, and Miller knocked her home with her second RBI of the game in her second at bat to put DC ahead by five.
The Engineers threatened in the third inning, when four of the first five batters recorded singles to start the inning, but DC made the right plays and minimized the damage by forcing one runner out at home and getting another ground out to escape the inning with just one run on the board and three runners stranded for Rose-Hulman.
The Jackets' offense kept rolling, plating a pair of runs in both the fifth and sixth innings, and Rose-Hulman was unable to keep up with the exception of a one-run, three-hit bottom of the sixth. Schnipke picked up her second win of the week, giving her seven wins for the season.
Defiance will round out its regular-season schedule tomorrow at first-place Transylvania University (20-11-1; 13-1 HCAC). Game one of the doubleheader is set to begin at 2:00 p.m.