ANGOLA, Ind. -- The Trine softball team was swept by Alma in a battle for first place in the MIAA Sunday afternoon at SportONE/Parkview Softball Field.
The Scots prevailed 1-0 in a pitchers' duel in game one, then used a big inning to earn an 8-4 victory in game two. Morgan Stratton pitched all 14 innings for Alma to earn both wins. Claire Ryan (Union Grove, Wis. / Union Grove) notched three hits in game two for the Thunder. Trine fell to 28-4 overall and 9-3 in the MIAA. The Scots improved to 21-5 overall and seized control of first place in the conference at 11-1 in league play.
Game One: Alma 1, Trine 0
A wild pitch was the difference in the game one pitchers' duel between Danielle Ray (Hamilton, Ohio / Badin) and Morgan Stratton.
The two pitchers traded zeroes through the first four frames, with Ray setting down 11 in a row after a one-out single in first. The Scots broke through in the top of the fifth, loading the bases with one out on a pair of walks and a hit batter. A wild pitch brought in pinch-runner Katie Long with what would prove to be the winning run.
The Thunder put two on with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Stratton induced a pair of groundouts to get out of trouble and seal the victory.
Stratton earned the win to improve to 12-2 on the season. The senior allowed just two hits, walked one and struck out five in the seven-inning effort. She retired 12 in a row at one point.
Ray very nearly matched her, surrendering just two hits and an earned run in her seven innings of work. She walked three and fanned seven. Ray was tagged with the first loss of her collegiate career, halting her winning-streak at 13.
Game Two: Alma 8, Trine 4
The Thunder scored first, but a seven-run second allowed the Scots to break open the game and earn the sweep.
Trine broke through against Stratton with the first four batters of game two reaching. Ryan singled through the right side to score Emily White (Fortville, Ind. / Mount Vernon) and Makenna Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) to get the Thunder on the board. Ryan's three hits in game two represented a new career high.
Alma broke through in the second on an infield RBI-single by Anna Couture. An RBI-single by Chelsea Schweiger knotted the score at two-apiece. With two outs and the bases loaded, McKenzie Creed delivered the big blow of the inning, a three-run double to left-center to make the score 5-2. Danielle Service followed with a homer to make the score 7-2.
The Scots added another run on an error in the bottom of the fourth to make the score 8-2.
Trine rallied for two in the fifth as Lainey McCue (Westlake, Ohio / Westlake) doubled home a pair, but that was all Stratton allowed the Thunder the rest of the way.
Stratton allowed four earned runs on seven hits, walked two and struck out five in the game two victory. Ray was tagged with the loss for Trine.
Trine returns to action Wednesday, Apr. 26 at Hope. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. The two teams are part of a three-way tie for second in the MIAA with Saint Mary's. All three teams have a .750 winning-percentage in league play.