ANGOLA, Ind.-- Trine claimed its second NCAA Division III Softball Regional title with a dominating 15-3 victory over University of Chicago Saturday afternoon at SportONE/Parkview Softball Field.
The Thunder crushed three home runs, all of which came in an eight-run second inning to cruise to the five-inning victory and claim the Regional championship on the team's home field. The team's last Regional title also came at home in 2014. Catherine Porter (Canton, Mich. / Plymouth Canton) homered twice in the second inning, tying a NCAA Division III record in the process. According to NCAA records, she is the first Division III player to homer twice in an inning since teammate Kaylee Fox achieved the feat at Hope last year. Trine improved to 33-12 on the season with the victory.
Porter was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Angola Regional with a three-homer weekend. She led all players with six RBIs. Porter has come on strong in the final couple weeks of the season, claiming the designated player spot in the lineup and slugging .585 since April 13.
Kaylee Fox (Vermilion, Ohio / Edison) also homered in the eight-run second, which gave the Thunder a 9-0 lead. Fox's homer was her second of the tournament and 12th of the season. The sophomore moved into sole possession of fourth place in home runs on Trine's all-time list with 28 in her career. Fox was also named to the All-Tournament team.
Trine's 15 runs scored today were the most it has ever scored in a NCAA postseason game. The Thunder pounded out 13 hits and drew six walks in the contest. Eight players notched at least one hit and every starter reached base safely in the game.
Kaitlyn Clark (Mount Juliet, Tenn. / Wilson Central) added three hits and drove in a run. Alison Lang (Rome City, Ind. / East Noble) contributed a hit, knocked in two runs, walked twice, was hit by a pitch and scored four runs in the contest.
Porter's two home runs and Fox's homer highlighted the eight-run second, which led Trine to its big lead through two innings. Lang also picked up both of her RBIs in the inning on a two-run double to right center. Another big inning plated four runs in the fifth as the Thunder put the game out of reach. Kendra Marshall (Leesburg, Ind. / Warsaw) added a two-run single in the inning, while Porter drove in her final run of the day with a RBI-single.
The Maroons scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run single by relief pitcher Jordan Poole. Maeve Garvey added a RBI-groundout in the fifth for the final margin. University of Chicago concluded its season 27-10.
Bre Cooper (Beech Grove, Ind. / Beech Grove) earned the victory in the circle for Trine. The senior improved to 10-1 on the season and picked up her first career NCAA postseason victory. Cooper allowed two earned runs on six hits and walked one in four innings of work.
Erica Robles (Long Beach, Calif. / Lakewood) and Justine Robles (Long Beach, Calif. / Lakewood) were each named to the All-Tournament Team as well. Erica played a key role in Trine's victory over Wheaton with two hits, two runs scored and a diving catch. She scored four runs on the weekend. Justine earned a pair of victories, going 2-0 with a 0.93 ERA in 9.2 innings pitched.
Trine advances to the Super Regional round where the Thunder await the winner of the Lake Forest Regional. At the time of writing, St. Thomas (Minn.) had advanced to the Regional Championship. They will face Lake Forest or Wisconsin-Whitewater for the Regional title tomorrow.
The site of the Super Regional round is expected to be announced Monday morning. The Thunder are 2-0 all-time in Super Regional play, having swept Emory to advance to the NCAA Division III National Championships in 2014.