TYLER, Texas -- Junior Michaela Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) came up with two big home runs as the Trine University softball team came up with a 10-7 victory over Williams College.
The Thunder's offense finally arrived in Texas during the game today, as the team would score eight unanswered runs to start the contest.
Michaela Hartline started the scoring in an unconventional manner, as she was hit by a pitch with bases loaded during the second inning to record her first RBI of the week.
In the third, the Thunder kept up the offensive assault. Junior Victoria Porter (Canton, Mich. / Canton) came up with a single to left center to bring in one run. Then Hartline cleared the bases with her first homer of the day, picking up three more runners batted in.
They kept it up again in the fourth picking up three runs. Freshman Taylor Murdock (Lapel, Ind. / Lapel) picked up the first RBI on a groundout. Junior Makenna Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) then scored on a passed ball and freshman Ashley Swartout (Westfield, Ind. / Westfield) finished off with a home run of her own.
The Thunder entered the bottom of the fifth with the 8-0 lead needing just three outs to end the contest. But Williams was not ready to head home yet as they came up with a two-out double to narrow the lead to seven and stave off elimination for another inning.
Then in the sixth, Trine's pitching struggled and the Ephs took full advantage scoring four runs to pull within three at 8-5.
Michaela Hartline gave the Thunder some breathing room with an absolutely mammoth home run to left field. The ball would go over the scoreboard and bring in two runs to pull the team ahead by five again at 10-5.
Williams recorded a two-run homer of their own in the bottom half of the inning but Trine would record the third out and take the win 10-7.
The Thunder hitters came through in the clutch all day as eight of their runs were scored with two outs in the inning.
Junior Hannah Kampmann (St. Paul, Minn. / Cretin Derham Hall) saw her third game action of the championship and ended up pitching the all but three at-bats of the contest. She turned in a gutsy performance in the circle coming up with big outs at the end of the game despite struggling at times. She finished the game with five strikeouts and her 17th win of the season.
Following the victory, the Thunder improve to 37-7 on the season and 2-1 in the 2019 NCAA Division III Softball Championship. They will take the field again tomorrow needing two wins over Texas Lutheran University to advance to the finals. They will start their day at 1 p.m. EDT / noon CDT and, with a victory, will take the field again at 6:30 p.m. EDT / 5:30 p.m. CDT.