LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The Trine softball team is ranked No. 4 in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25 Poll, released this morning
The Thunder held steady with the same number of points (176) as last week's poll. Last week, Trine swept Anderson (Ind.) to improve to 18-0 on the season. Trine is one of two unbeatens remaining in NCAA Division III. The 18-0 start is the best in program history and marks the third-longest winning streak in team history. The Thunder own victories over two currently ranked teams (No. 7 Luther and No. 9 Messiah) as well as one team receiving votes (Transylvania).
Carly Bachna (Elyria, Ohio / Elyria) is the reigning MIAA Player of the Week. The freshman batted 1.000 with six hits in the doubleheader against Anderson. She hit her first career grand slam to break things open early in game one as part of a three-hit, five-RBI performance. Bachna also tied the game with a RBI-single and later added a double in a three-hit effort in game two.
Power continues to lead the offensive efforts. Trine ranks second in NCAA Division III in home runs per game (1.33) and has socked 24 home runs already. Kaylee Fox (Vermilion, Ohio / Edison) and Makenna Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) lead the way with seven homers apiece, tied for fifth in the nation. Bachna's six homers are tied for 10th nationally.
As a team, the Thunder slug .521, the 13th-best mark in the country. Hartline's .817 slugging percentage leads the MIAA. She and Bachna are tied for the team lead with 22 RBIs, which is tied for second in the conference. Trine's lineup depth has been on display with seven players batting .300 or better and five slugging .500 or better.
Freshmen Hannah Kampmann (St. Paul, Minn. / Cretine Derham Hall) and Danielle Ray (Hamilton, Ohio / Badin) have anchored the pitching staff. Kampmann's 0.81 ERA leads the MIAA and ranks 21st in the nation. Ray became the program's first player to win Louiville Slugger/NFCA National Pitcher of the Week honors after complete game victories over top-10 foes Messiah and Luther.
Head coach Don Danklefsen is closing in on 400 career victories. He could reach the milestone as early as the doubleheader scheduled for Tuesday, Apr. 4 at Olivet. Danklefsen will become the second coach in any sport in school history to achieve the milestone. He owns a 395-135 career record (.745 winning percentage).
Trine looks to extend its perfect start this afternoon when it hosts Ohio Northern at 3:30 p.m. at SportONE/Parkview Softball Field. A sweep would tie the second-longest winning streak in program history. The Polar Bears enter with an overall record of 15-3.