GASCO THROWS NO-HITTER AS THUNDER SPLIT SERIES

DEFIANCE, Ohio - Trine softball senior Andi Gasco (Levering, Mich./Petoskey) threw her second career no-hitter in game two as the fifth ranked Thunder split their non-conference series with Defiance falling 3-2 before coming back to win 11-0. The Thunder now stand at 17-3 on the season.

Game one saw the Yellow Jackets jump out to a 3-0 lead that Trine was never able to recover from. Defiance got a leadoff walk and then one out later a home run from Katie Miller. Defiance would add another run after back-to-back walks were followed by a double.

The Thunder would get on the board in the third as junior Haleigh Daniels (Hamilton, Ohio/Hamilton) led off the inning with a single to left center. After a ground out moved her to second, freshman Kaitlyn Clark (Mount Juliet, Tenn./Wilson Central) would drive her in on a single up the middle. Trine would then get a single from sophomore Leah Hall (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) and would load the bases on a Yellow Jackets error, but were unable to push another run across.

Trine would load the bases again in the fourth with one out, but again were shutout from adding a run.

In the top of the seventh, the Thunder nearly pulled off the comeback. Clark led off the inning by reaching on a Defiance error and then advanced on a ground out. Then with two outs, senior Lauren Harris (Uniontown, Ohio/Hoover) singled up the middle to score Clark. The rally would end there as the final batter of the game would be retired.

Sophomore Bree Fuller (Hubbardston, Mich./Fulton) lost for the first time this season as she allowed all three earned runs over six innings while striking out seven and giving up four hits, two of which came in the first inning.

The nightcap was all Thunder from the start as Gasco allowed just two Defiance batters to reach base via walks.

In the first, Trine would get the only runs the would need as sophomore Carly Searles (Levering, Mich./Petoskey) lead off the game with a walk and then stole second and third. With two outs, her sister Andi Gasco would drive her in on a triple to right field.

In the second, the Thunder would add four more runs on a grand slam by sophomore Amy Newell (Three Rivers, Mich./Three Rivers) who was making her first start of the season and just her third at-bat. Fellow sophomore Rachel Harris (Uniontown, Ohio/Hoover) started the inning with a single to center. With one out, Searles would reach on an infield single and Clark would reach on a walk. Newell would then take the first pitch she saw over the center field fence for her first collegiate homer. The damage could have been worse but the Thunder stranded two runners.

Trine would add two more runs in the fourth as Gasco doubled with one out. Then on a 2-1 count, Lauren Harris would deliver her fifth homer of the season to left.

The Thunder would put the mercy rule into play as they plated four more runs in the top of the fifth aided by three Defiance errors. Trine’s lone hit in the inning came off the bat of senior Sarah Belote (Bronson, Mich./Bronson) after Rachel Harris has reached on an error to start the inning. Harris and Belote would score on an error off the bat of Searles. Daniels would then score on an RBI groundout by Clark. Pinch runner junior Jillian Craig (Indianapolis, Ind./Bishop Chatard) would then score on a passed ball that allowed Newell to reach base after striking out.

Gasco earned her eighth win of the season as she threw the complete game while striking out three for her second career no-hitter.

Gasco’s first no-hitter came a season ago and was also against Defiance in Angola on March 28. It is the seventh no-hitter in school history, and the second this season for the Thunder as Fuller also pitched a no-no against Beloit (IL) on March 5 in Florida.

On the day, Searles and Gasco led the Thunder with three hits apiece. Daniels and Lauren Harris also collected a pair of hits on the afternoon. Newell led the Thunder with four RBIs on the day while Lauren Harris drove in three and Clark collected two. Searles, Daniels, Clark and Rachel Harris all scored a pair of runs on the day.

Trine won’t waste any time as they go right back to action and begin conference play as they travel to Kalamazoo for a 3:30 p.m. doubleheader which will be played at Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

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