DEFIANCE, Ohio – Defiance closed out its 2009 home schedule with a pair of shutout victories over Mount St. Joseph, helping the DC softball program eclipsed the 450-win mark. The Jackets took the opener in extra innings, 1-0, before riding Kelly Schnipke's four-hitter to another 1-0 victory in the finale.
The sweep ensures Defiance's place in the HCAC Tournament, marking the 11th-straight season that the Jackets have participated in the postseason event.
Justine Johnston finished off her career at Sal Hench Field on a high note, throwing eight shutout innings in the opening game of the HCAC twinbill to record her 13th victory of the season. The senior hurler held the Lions to six hits, while forcing them to strand six runners in the game.
Johnston was able to come up with big pitches when she needed them, escaping trouble in the first and eighth frames to tally her fourth shutout this season. The Wauseon, Ohio native also moved to first-place on DC's all-time complete game list, tossing the 76th of her career to move pass Francine Wahrman.
Defiance's offense was not able to put anything together in the first seven innings, but came through in the clutch to pull out the win. DC started the bottom of the eighth with Allison Ramsay on second base due to the international tie-breaker. Amanda Auzins moved Ramsay to third in the first at-bat of the inning with a sacrifice bunt, putting the game's winning run just 60 feet away. Aarika Davis did not waste the opportunity, putting the game to rest with a sac fly to center field that plated Ramsay.
The Jackets wasted no time getting on the board in the final game of the doubleheader, scoring what would turn out to be the winning run in the first. Auzins led off the contest for DC with a single up the middle, before eventually crossing the plate on Melanie Bushman's bloop single to right field.
Defiance would not score another run in the game, but that proved to be enough as starter Kelly Schnipke took care of the rest. The sophomore held the Lions in check, taking advantage of a strong defense behind her to record her third shutout of the season. Schnipke only allowed six runners to reach base in the game, improving to 9-4 overall and 5-0 in HCAC contests.
DC finished with nine hits in the doubleheader, led by Davis' three hits on the afternoon. Bushman and Kayla Crager each tallied a pair of hits in their final home game, while Auzins and Katie Finley also recorded base knocks.
Defiance will be back in action on Monday, April 27, when it travels to Granville, Ohio for a non-conference doubleheader with Denison University. The first pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.