Trine University Athletics
 

Thunder Sweep Bluffton

FISHERS, IND.-- The 16th-ranked Trine softball team extended their winning-streak to nine with a sweep of Bluffton Saturday afternoon at Fishers High School.

The Thunder took game one 11-0 in five innings, and followed that up with another victory in five innings by a final of 12-4. Haleigh Daniels (Hamilton, Ohio/Hamilton) led the way with three hits, including a homer and a double, and six RBI's. Daniels moved into a tie with Sarah Belote for sixth on Trine's all-time list in doubles. Kaitlyn Clark (Mount Juliet, Tenn./Wilson Central) hit a grand slam as part of a three-hit, five-RBI day. Bree Fuller (Hubbardston, Mich./Fulton) tossed her second-consecutive complete game shutout for the Thunder. Trine improves to 10-1 on the season. Bluffton falls to 8-4 overall.

Game One: Trine 11, Bluffton 0

Fuller continued her stretch of dominant pitching and the Trine bats did the rest in the victory.

The junior struck out 10 while allowing just two hits to win her fifth-straight decision and improve to 5-1 on the season. Fuller has not allowed a run in her last 10.1 innings pitched. Fuller has struck out nine or more batters in every outing in which she has pitched five innings this season.

Daniels got the Thunder on the board in the bottom of the second after Trine loaded the bases with one out. The senior shortstop ripped a 2-2 pitch to deep left to score two runs and give the Thunder a 2-0 lead.

Trine would tack on three runs in the third. Rachel Harris (Uniontown, Ohio/Hoover) knocked in a run with an RBI-double, while Brittany Banks (Trenton, Ohio/Edgewood) drove home two runs with a single through the middle. The freshman has seven RBI over her last three games.

The Thunder tacked on six more runs in the bottom of fourth to put the game out of reach. Harris doubled home two more runs to give her a three-RBI game, while Daniels knocked in her third run of the game with an RBI-single.

With singles in her first two at-bats, Riley Larkin (Plainfield, Ind./Avon) had recorded a hit in her first seven career at-bats before that streak was later snapped. The sophomore responded in her first-career start with a 2-3 effort at the plate to go along with a stolen base.

Game Two: Trine 12, Bluffton 4

A huge first-inning and Clark's grand slam in the bottom of the fifth provided the offense in the Thunder victory.

The Beavers drew first blood on a home run by Jess Kuzara in the top of the first. The homer snapped a streak of 18-consecutive scoreless innings by Trine pitching.

That lead didn't last long as the Thunder responded with seven runs in their half of the first. The Thunder batted around in the inning. Clark and Kendra Marshall (Leesburg, Ind./Warsaw) each knocked in a run with an extra-base hit before Bluffton was able to record an out. An RBI-groundout by Jamie Schnarr (Kettering, Ohio/Kettering) and an Alicia Eavey (Avon, Ind./Covenant Christian) RBI-single made the score 4-1. Daniels capped the inning with a towering three-run bomb to left to make it 7-1.

A sacrifice fly off the bat of Leah Hall (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) in the bottom of the second scored Marshall to extend the score to 8-1.

Bluffton scratched across a run in the third on an RBI-double by Kuzara and added two runs in the top of the fourth to get back within striking range at 8-4. Both of Kuzara's hits on the day went for extra bases and drove in a run.

Clark's grand slam in the bottom of the fifth ensured Bluffton would get no closer and sent Trine home with the victory via the eight-run rule. Clark leads the MIAA with three home runs this season.

Carly Searles (Levering, Mich./Petoskey) extended her hitting-streak to six games. Justine Robles (Long Beach, Calif./Lake Wood) picked up the victory in game two.

Trine returns to action Tuesday, Mar. 18 when they travel to Ohio Northern. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.