DEFIANCE, Ohio – Shauna Bowers notched her third complete-game shutout of the season as the Jackets rolled over Hanover, 6-0, in the first contest, and came through with a save in game two, when Defiance completed the series sweep with a 6-3 victory. The win gives DC a 5-3 mark in the HCAC.
Both teams went scoreless through the first two innings of play, before Defiance opened things up with a three-run third inning. Stephanie Esquibel recorded DC's first hit of the game, a one-out single to right field, and Aubrie Ridinger followed with a single up the middle. Tasha Stucke batted next, and ripped a double down the left field line for the game's first two runs. Marah Robinson brought Stucke in to score with a shot to left field, and DC ended the inning with a 3-0 advantage.
Kaycee Butt led off the fourth inning for DC, and drove a ball into the wind that bounced off the top of the left field fence before trickling over to put DC ahead by four. Ridinger reached base later in the inning on an infield error, and Stucke picked up her second run-producing double of the game, this time with a shot to right field, to give DC a five-run edge.
Bowers continued to deal, and Butt recorded another solo home run in the sixth as DC closed out the 6-0 victory to snap a four-game skid at Sal Hench Field.
Kelly Schnipke got the start for Defiance in game two, and struck out the first two batters before Lauren Kreinest reached base on balls, and Shelby Overton brought her in with a RBI double to right center field.
The Panthers held the 1-0 advantage for two innings, before Defiance erupted with another big third frame. Esquibel started things off with a walk, and Ridinger moved her to third with an infield single. Faling tied the score, 1-1, with a fielder's choice infield RBI, and after Stucke followed with a single up the middle, Faling and Stucke moved into scoring position on an error from the centerfielder. Robinson took advantage with a two-run single to center field, and took second base on the throw home. Katie Miller finished the damage with a shot through the left side that brought in Robinson and gave DC a 4-1 cushion.
Hanover responded with two runs on three hits in the top of the fourth to cut the Jackets' lead to one run. DC went scoreless in the bottom of the frame, and after the Panthers recorded a one-out double in the fifth, Bowers returned in a relief role and struck out the next two batters to escape the inning undamaged.
Defiance tacked on one run in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings, and Bowers held the Panthers scoreless the rest of the way to notch her first save of the season.
The Jackets (13-17; 5-3 HCAC) will host their last home games of the season on Wednesday, April 20, when Manchester College (12-18; 3-5 HCAC) comes to town for a 3:00 p.m. tilt. Defiance will honor its seniors, Kaycee Butt, Nicole Diers, Mallory Faling, Elizabeth Petrie, Marah Robinson, Kelly Schnipke and Tasha Stucke, before they take the field for the final home games of their careers.