KISSIMMEE, Fla.-- The Trine softball team was swept by a pair of NCAA postseason participants on the opening day of the season at the Rebel Spring Games.
The Thunder took a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning against Simpson in the season-opener, but a three-run sixth brought the Storm back for the 3-2 victory. Trine was then defeated by No. 16 Kean by a final of 8-0 in six innings. Simpson reached the NCAA Regional round last season, while Kean was a participant in the National Championships. Trine opens the season 0-2.
Simpson 3, Trine 2
Three runs in the bottom of the sixth led the Storm back from the two-run deficit to earn the victory.
The Thunder struck first in the top of the second on a sac fly by Alison Lang (Rome City, Ind./East Noble). Trine tacked on another run in the sixth when Cassidey Carraway (New Baltimore, Mich./Anchor Bay) raced home on an error in the outfield.
The Storm loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom half of the frame and scored two runs when back-to-back batters were hit with pitches. An infield single by Arianna Kim brought home what would prove to be the winning run.
Kendra Marshall (Leesburg, Ind./Warsaw) finished with three hits in three at-bats for Trine. Lainey McCue (Westlake, Ohio/Westlake) added her first collegiate hit. Justine Robles (Long Beach, Calif./Lakewood) struck out seven in her six innings of work.
Abbie Vanvleet scattered nine hits and allowed one earned run to earn the victory for Simpson. She struck out five. The Storm improved to 9-3 on the season.
Kean 8, Trine 0 (6)
A big six inning led to the run-rule shortened victory for the 16th-ranked Cougars.
Kean pushed across five runs in the sixth to turn a three-run advantage into the victory. All-American second baseman Emily Sabo finished with three hits and an RBI. Pinch-hitter MacKenzie Valeriani knocked in two runs with a single in the sixth, which was followed by a two-run homer by Dana Knapp.
Erica Robles (Long Beach, Calif./Lakewood) and Lang each picked up two hits to lead the Thunder. Mollie Lovasko (Whiting, Ind./Whiting) tied a career-high with five strikeouts over 5.2 innings pitched.
Kiele Eichlin picked up the victory with six innings of shutout work. She scattered six hits and struck out two.
Trine continues play in the Rebel Spring Games Monday with games against Muskingum and Bridgewater (Va.).