ANGOLA, Ind.-- Justine Robles fired a shutout to lead Trine to a berth in the championship round of the NCAA Division III Softball Regional at SportONE/Parkview Softball Field.
Robles (Long Beach, Calif. / Lakewood) held Wheaton to three hits as the Thunder beat Wheaton 3-0 to earn a berth in the Regional Championship. The senior walked one and struck out three in a 103-pitch effort. The shutout was the 16th of Robles' career, which moves her into second on the team's all-time list. She also picked up her 50th career victory in improving to 15-7 on the season. Robles became the fifth player in school history to total 50 career victories in the circle.
The speed of Erica Robles (Long Beach, Calif. / Lakewood) on the basepaths led to the first run of the day for Trine. After a leadoff single, Robles forced the issue in attempting to go from first-to-third on a sac bunt attempt. The pressure on the defense forced a wild throw, with Robles scoring all the way from first on the play to make the score 1-0.
Trine tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the fifth. Erica Robles once again set the table for the rally with a leadoff single, followed by a single from Alison Lang (Rome City, Ind. / East Noble) to put two on with none out.
Kaitlyn Clark (Mount Juliet, Tenn. / Wilson Central) added to her school-record RBI total with a single to left to score Robles and make the score 2-0. Lang later scored when she forced an errant throw to third. She raced home on the throw to make the score 3-0.
Katie Thornton worked the complete game for Wheaton. The CCIW's Player and Pitcher of the Year allowed six hits and one earned run. She walked two and struck out two, falling to 24-9 on the season. Wheaton concluded the season 32-13 overall.
Trine will face University of Chicago in tomorrow's championship round, with the first pitch of game one scheduled for noon. The Maroons won a pair of elimination games over Greenville and Wheaton to advance to the championship.
The Thunder would need one victory to claim its second Regional title. A University of Chicago victory in game one would force a winner-take-all game two for the chance to advance to the Super-Regional. The winner of the Angola Regional will face the winner of the regional being hosted by Lake Forest.