ANGOLA, Ind.-- The Trine softball team has announced its schedule for the 2016 season.
The Thunder will play one of the toughest schedules in the nation this spring. The team will face four 2015 NCAA Division III National Championship participants and seven other teams that made appearances in the NCAA Regionals last year. The nonconference schedule includes games against at least eight teams that won 30 or more games last season. Trine will face just three nonconference foes that finished with a winning percentage below .500. Five teams on the schedule finished the season ranked in the top 10 in the nation.
The season opens at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla. The Thunder will face National Championship participant Kean as well as NCAA Regional participants Simpson and Thomas More. Trine will also face 2014 NCAA Regional foe Muskingum.
Following six games in Florida, the Thunder will head to Georgia for the 2016 NFCA Division III Leadoff Classic. Trine will have the opportunity to face National Championship participant Linfield the night before the Classic. The Thunder will play at least five games in the Leadoff Classic.
Pool play begins with games against NCAA Regional participants East Texas Baptist and Eastern Connecticut State, as well as Ithaca. Following pool play, teams are then re-seeded into gold, silver and bronze divisions in double-elimination format. Half of the 24 participants in the tournament finished last season ranked in the top 25 in the nation.
The nonconference slate also includes home doubleheaders against National Championship participant DePauw and Regionals participant North Central, as well as a road trip to face Regional participant Anderson.
Highlighting the conference schedule will be NCAA postseason participants Alma and Hope. The Thunder will host the Flying Dutch and will travel north to face the Scots. Other home MIAA doubleheaders include Olivet and Adrian.
Trine will be seeking its fifth-straight MIAA Championship this season. The Thunder have earned NCAA Regionals bids each of the last eight years. This year's team will have to replace six graduated seniors, but Trine returns four all-conference performers. Three of those players earned All-Region honors last year.
The complete schedule is listed below. Game times for championships rounds at the NFCA Division III Leadoff Classic will be determined by performance in the tournament.
|Mar. 6-8: Rebel Spring Games, Kissimmee, Fla.|
|Mar. 6||Simpson||11:15 a.m.|
|Mar. 6||Kean||1:30 p.m.|
|Mar. 7||Muskingum||9 a.m.|
|Mar. 7||Bridgewater (Va.)||11:15 a.m.|
|Mar. 8||Thomas More||11:15 a.m.|
|Mar. 8||Hiram||1:30 p.m.|
|Mar. 10||Linfield (at Columbus, Ga.||TBA|
|Mar. 11-13 NFCA Division III Leadoff Classic, Columbus, Ga.|
|Mar. 11||Eastern Connecticut State||2:30 p.m.|
|Mar. 11||East Texas Baptist||7:30 p.m.|
|Mar. 12||Ithaca||12:30 p.m.|
|Mar. 25||TRANSYLVANIA||3:30 p.m.|
|Mar. 26||DEPAUW||2 p.m.|
|Mar. 30||Anderson (Ind.)||3:30 p.m.|
|Apr. 2||ADRIAN*||1 p.m.|
|Apr. 5||HOPE*||3:30 p.m.|
|Apr. 9||KALAMAZOO*||1 p.m.|
|Apr. 12||NORTH CENTRAL||3:30 p.m.|
|Apr. 13||Calvin*||3:30 p.m.|
|Apr. 17||Case Western Reserve||2 p.m.|
|Apr. 21||OLIVET*||3:30 p.m.|
|Apr. 23||Albion*||1 p.m.|
|Apr. 27||Alma*||3:30 p.m.|
|Apr. 30||Saint Mary's*||1 p.m.|
ALL CAPS denotes HOME event
* - denotes MIAA event
All times EST