THUNDER DIG THE LONG BALL AT BLUFFTON

BLUFFTON, Ohio - After 11 days off, the weather finally allowed the fifth ranked Trine University softball team to take the field and they showed no ill-effects of the layoff as they took care of Bluffton University 17-1 and 10-1 both in five innings. With the series sweep the Thunder improve their record to 13-1 on the season.

Trine used the long ball all afternoon as they hit eight home runs between the two games against the Beavers.

In the opener, the Thunder scored in all five innings, including plating five in the top of the first, all of which came with two outs. Senior Andi Gasco (Levering, Mich./Petoskey) delivered an RBI single and fellow senior Lauren Harris (Uniontown, Ohio/Hoover) followed with an RBI double. After a walk, yet another senior in Sarah Belote (Bronson, Mich./Bronson) got in on the action with the first homer of the day, a three-run shot to right field.

After Bluffton got a run in the bottom of the inning, Trine got another run on Lauren Harris’ second double of the game in the top of the second.

With one out in the top of the third, senior Ashton Morgan (Berne, Ind./South Adams) would walk and Junior Haleigh Daniels (Hamilton, Ohio/Hamilton) singled. Then, with two outs freshman Kaitlyn Clark (Mount Juliet, Tenn./Wilson Central) would take the first pitch she saw over the center field wall.

In the fourth inning, the Thunder got back-to-back home runs by sophomore Rachel Harris (Uniontown, Ohio/Hoover) and Belote. Later in the inning, Daniels knocked in a run on a double after Morgan had singled. Daniels would then come around to score on a Bluffton error.

Gasco earned the game one win going all five innings and allowing one run on six hits while striking out four.

After a slow start in the first inning of game two, the Thunder bats came alive in the second as they plated seven runs, four coming with two outs. With the bases loaded, Trine scored twice as the Bluffton shortstop could not handle the grounder by Morgan. Then with one out, sophomore Carly Searles (Levering, Mich./Petoskey) singled to center to drive in a run. Fellow sophomore Leah Hall (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) would step to the plate with two outs and double down the right field line to score two runners. Gasco would round out the scoring for the Thunder as she hit her second home run of the day.

Bluffton would score their lone run of the game in the second on a home run.

With two outs in the fourth, Rachel Harris would go yard for the second time on the day with a shot to left center.

Trine would plate two more in the fifth as Searles led off the inning with a first-pitch home run to right center. After back-to-back singles by Clark and Hall, Clark would score on an RBI groundout by Lauren Harris.

Sophomore Bree Fuller (Hubbardston, Mich./Fulton) earned the win in the circle for the Thunder as she improved her record to 5-0 on the year as she allowed just one run on three hits while striking out seven Bluffton batters.

For the day, the Thunder tallied 28 hits with every Trine starter collected multiple hits on the day.. Gasco, Clark and Daniels led the way with four hits apiece. In all, nine different Trine players drove in multiple runs with Gasco leading the way with five RBI and four runs. Belote drove in four runs while Clark and Lauren Harris each drove in three runs respectively.

Trine will return to action on March 26 at 3:30 p.m. as they head out on the road looking for a little revenge on Ohio Northern who eliminated the Thunder from the NCAA Regional a season ago.

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