ANGOLA, Ind -- The Trine University softball team broke the tie for first place atop the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association standings following a pair of crucial wins over visiting Calvin College.
The first game of the day was a pitching duel from start to finish as both starters held the other team scoreless for the first four innings of the contest. Calvin struck first when in the top of the inning they brought in a runner from second on a two-out double. Trine minimized the damage by recording the third out on the same play catching a runner trying to advance on the throw to home at third.
The lead was a short-lived one as the Thunder responded in the bottom of the inning. Freshman Lexi Clark (Nile, Mich. / Edwardsburg) started the inning off with a single, bring junior Makenna Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) to the plate. Hartline hit the ball to left center and beat out the throw to second for the double, bringing in Clark for the RBI to tie the game at one.
Trine took the lead in the next inning. Junior Michaela Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) brought in the run with an RBI single. The run would become the game-winner as the team closed out the game with the 2-1 victory.
Junior Hannah Kampmann (St. Paul, Minn. / Cretin Derham Hall) picked up her 11th win of the season in the contest. She finished the game allowing just three hits and four walks while fanning six.
The second game started much the same with both teams entering the fifth inning scoreless. The Thunder struck first this time however picking up two runs in the top of the fifth to take the 2-0 lead. Sophomore Mercede Daugherty (Watervilet, Mich. / Watervilet) with a single and freshman Ashley Swartout (Westfield, Ind. / Westfield) with a sac fly brought in the runs in the inning.
Trine made the lead 5-0 in the sixth taking advantage of two errors from the Knights to score their runs. Makenna Hartline brought in the first run by reaching base on a fielders choice. Freshman Taylor Murdock (Lapel, Ind. / Lapel) brought in the other two runs of the inning in the next at with a single to right field.
The Thunder would allow one run in the bottom of the sixth but held strong in the seventh to finish off the sweep with at 5-1 victory.
Senior Kate Saupe (Farwell, Mich. / Farwell) pitched an effective game in the circle to pick up her 12th win. She gave up six hits, but allowed zero walks and struck out one as the defense cruised to victory.
After entering the day in a tie with Calvin, the Thunder take sole possession of first place in the MIAA. The sit there with a 26-4 overall record and a 12-2 record in the MIAA. They can clinch the regular season title by winning one of two on Wednesday, April 24 against Hope College. The team's final MIAA contests of the season will begin at 3 p.m.