ANGOLA, Ind.-- The 14th-ranked Trine softball team swept a doubleheader from Adrian to open MIAA play Sunday afternoon at SportONE/Parkview Softball Field.
Alison Lang (Rome City, Ind. / East Noble) and Kendra Marshall (Leesburg, Ind. / Warsaw) each knocked in two runs as the Thunder took game one 4-1. Trine had to rally back from down four in the seventh inning to send game two to extra innings, before a two-run ninth led the Thunder to a 7-5 victory in the nightcap to earn the sweep. Kaitlyn Clark (Mount Juliet, Tenn. / Wilson Central) had four hits, including a homer, to move into second in team history with 196 career hits. Trine improved to 14-7 overall and 2-0 in the MIAA. Adrian fell to 4-9 overall, 0-2 in conference play.
Game One: Trine 4, Adrian 1
Each team had numerous chances to score, but each starting pitcher was able to mitigate the damage and keep the game a low-scoring affair.
Marshall started the scoring, lining a home run off the left field foul pole to put the Thunder up 1-0 in the first inning. The homer was the senior's second of the season. Marshall would later add an RBI-groundout for an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth.
Lang put Trine up 2-0 in the bottom of the third, lining a double into the right-center field gap. The senior struck again in the fifth with an RBI-single to right. Lang collected two hits and drove in three runs in the doubleheader while playing a flawless game in the field in her first two career starts at shortstop.
Justine Robles (Long Beach, Calif. / Lakewood) worked another complete game to earn the victory. The senior pitched out of trouble to strand 10 Adrian baserunners. Robles allowed one earned run, scattered five hits, walked one and struck out nine to improve to 8-3 on the year.
An RBI-groundout by Casey Cribbs in the seventh spoiled the shutout and accounted for the Bulldogs' lone run. Katie Meyer allowed four runs (two earned) in six innings of work, walking five and striking out two to take the loss.
Game Two: Trine 7, Adrian 5
The Thunder rallied back late to force extra innings and were able to prevail to earn the sweep.
The Bulldogs got on the board in the bottom of the second with an RBI-single by Jessica Palumbo and an RBI-groundout by Taylor Van't Land.
Rachell Noble (Indianapolis, Ind. / Decatur Central) launched her first home run of the season to left center to cut the score to 2-1 in the third. The senior notched two hits and drew three walks on the day to keep her on-base percentage at .615 on the season.
The Bulldogs broke things open with a three-run fifth. A two-out, two-run single down the left field line by Rebecca Greco pushed the score to 4-1. Greco would later score an RBI-single by Cribbs.
Trine was able to get some late-inning magic to rally back and force extras. A leadoff single by Emily White (Fortville, Ind. / Mount Vernon) got things started. After a fielder's choice, Clark lined a two-run homer to left to cut the deficit to 5-3. The homer was Clark's second of the season and the 33rd of her collegiate career.
Singles by Marshall and Kaylee Fox (Vermilion, Ohio / Edison) and a walk drawn by Noble leaded the bases with one out. Lainey McCue (Westlake, Ohio / Westlake) then singled to right to cut the score to 5-4. Lang then lofted a fly ball that was deep enough for a sac fly as pinch-runner Kristy Rawlings (Lizton, Ind. / Tri-West Hendricks) raced home with the tying run.
Some clutch relief work by Bre Cooper (Beech Grove, Ind. / Beech Grove) helped keep the score knotted in extras. The senior allowed three hits over three shutout innings of work to eventually earn her first victory of the season. Cooper was able to get out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the eighth to keep the game alive.
A double by McCue and a walk drawn by Lang set the stage for winning rally in the ninth. Rachel Zink (Gahanna, Ohio / Gahanna Lincoln) provided the clutch hit with a seeing-eye single through the middle to give the Thunder the lead. Four of Zink's five RBIs this season have come on hits that have given Trine a lead.
White followed with a double over a drawn-in outfield to give the Thunder an insurance run. Robles came on to strike out the side in the bottom of the seventh to earn her second save of the season just before sunset.
Trine hosts Hope in a MIAA doubleheader this Tuesday, Apr. 5 at 3:30 p.m. The games are part of Trine NCAA Division III Week festivities. Free hot dogs, popcorn and t-shirts will be available for fans in attendance.