GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- The Trine softball team got some timely hitting in both ends of a doubleheader as the Thunder swept Calvin in MIAA-action Thursday evening at Gainey Field.
A three-run double by Kaitlyn Clark (Mount Juliet, Tenn. / Wilson Central) provided the big blow in a 4-1 victory in game one. The Knights rallied back from a two-run deficit to force extra-innings in game two, but Kaylee Fox (Vermilion, Ohio / Edison) lined a double deep to right to score Kendra Marshall (Leesburg, Ind. / Warsaw) with the winning run as Trine took game two 4-3 in eight innings. Trine improved to 19-8 overall and pulled into a tie for first in the MIAA with a 7-1 league mark. Calvin fell to 12-10 overall, 2-4 in conference play.
Game One: Trine 4, Calvin 1
A couple clutch hits and the pitching of Justine Robles (Long Beach, Calif. / Lakewood) led the Thunder to the game one victory.
Rachell Noble (Indianapolis, Ind. / Decatur Central) provided a big defensive play early as she picked a runner off third base to help Robles escape a second-and-third, none out jam in the second inning.
Noble provided the first of her two big hits on the evening with a two-out RBI single to put the Thunder up 1-0 in the fifth.
Two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out in the top of the sixth to set the stage for Clark. The senior lined a double off the wall in left-center, narrowly missing a home run to clear the bases and give Trine a 4-0 advantage. The double was the 39th of Clark's career, third-most in team history.
The Knights spoiled Robles' shutout bid in their half of the sixth on an RBI-single by Kristen Newman.
Robles improved to 10-4, scattering eight hits and one walk in her seven innings of work. She struck out four.
Game Two: Trine 4, Calvin 3 (8)
A back-and-forth game went the way of the Thunder in walk-off fashion.
Ashley Reimersma hit a solo home run in the top of the first to get the Knights on the board first. Calvin pitcher Paige Groom held the Thunder scoreless over the first 3.1 innings as she set down the first 10 hitters of the game in order.
After a one-out walk drawn by Clark, Marshall got the first Trine hit of the game to get the Thunder on the scoreboard. Marshall's RBI-double scored Clark from first to tie the game up at one-apiece.
Later in the inning, Noble gave Trine the lead for the second-straight game as she doubled home a pair of runs. Noble has now reached base safely in each of the last 10 games.
Reimersma singled home an unearned run in the fifth to cut the Thunder lead to 3-2. Kaley Frank's solo homer tied the score in the sixth.
Neither team was able to break through and the game went to extras. In the bottom of the eighth, Marshall singled up the middle with two outs to keep the inning alive. Fox then lined a double over the head of the right fielder as Marshall raced around the bases and scored the winning run to give the Thunder the win.
Bre Cooper (Beech Grove, Ind. / Beech Grove) turned in a second-consecutive quality start, though she did not factor into the decision. The senior allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits, walked one and struck out three over 5.1 innings of work. Kate Saupe (Farwell, Mich. / Farwell) earned the victory in relief to improve to 3-2 on the year.
Trine travels out of conference play for a doubleheader at Case Western Reserve this Sunday, Apr. 17. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.