COLUMBUS, Ga.-- The Trine softball team was swept by No. 23 Linfield Thursday afternoon at R.G. Jones Field.
The Wildcats fought back with a seventh-inning rally and won on walk-off home run in extras to take game one, 3-1. Linfield followed that up a 3-1 victory to take the nightcap as well. Danielle Duman and Darian Stedman each knocked in two runs to lead the Wildcats. Erica Robles (Long Beach, Calif./Lakewood) and Kendra Marshall (Leesburg, Ind./Warsaw) each notched three-hit days for the Thunder. Trine fell to 4-4 on the season. Linfield improved to 8-4.
Game One: Linfield 3, Trine 1 (8)
The Wildcats rallied to tie in the seventh and won on Duman's walk-off homer in the eighth.
The two teams traded zeroes until the top of the fifth. Erica Robles singled and stole second with one out. After a fly out, Marshall ripped a line drive over the center fielder's head to score Robles and put Trine up 1-0. Robles notched two hits and the stolen base in game one.
Justine Robles held Linfield scoreless over the first 4.1 innings, allowing just two hits and striking out four. Kate Saupe (Farwell, Mich./Farwell) came in to work out of a jam in the fifth to keep the game scoreless.
Linfield pushed across its run in the seventh when an infield single and throwing error put Alissa Buss at second base. With two outs, Melanie Oord singled back through the middle to score Buss and tie up the score and send the game to extras.
After a scoreless top of the eighth, Erin Tauscher doubled with one out. Duman followed with the walk-off homer to left center to give the Wildcats the victory.
Maddy Dunn improved to 4-0 on the season with the complete game effort for Linfield. Dunn allowed an earned run on seven hits, walked four and struck out one.
Another strong pitching effort and a two-run sixth led the Wildcats to the victory.
Shelby Saylors allowed an earned run on seven hits, did not walk a batter and struck out two to earn the victory. Saylor improved to 2-1 on the year.
Paige Smotherman hit a solo homer to open the scoring for Linfield in the top of the fourth. The Thunder had the answer in the bottom of the fifth as Dani Kirchner jump-started a rally with a leadoff bunt single. With two outs, Kaitlyn Clark (Mount Juliet, Tenn./Wilson Central) singled back through the middle to score Kirchner and tie the score.
The Wildcats answered with two runs in the sixth. Linfield put runners on second and third with none out. Racquel Ward (Polk, Ohio/Ashland) recorded back-to-back strikeouts, but Stedman struck for a two-run single and what would prove to be the winning runs.
Trine competes in the NFCA Division III Leadoff Classic at the South Commons Complex in Columbus, Ga. this weekend. The Thunder open with games against Eastern Connecticut State and East Texas Baptist tomorrow.