TUCSON, ARIZ. -- The Trine University softball team split with their opponents on Sunday to finish the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Leadoff Classic with a 5-1 record.
The Thunder dropped their first game of the season in the opening contest of the day against East Texas Baptist University (ETBU) by the score of 3-2. The team came back with a vengeance in the nightcap coming away with a 21-2 victory against Otterbein University.
In the first game, Trine found themselves locked in a pitchers' duel with the Tigers, with both teams remaining scoreless through the first three innings. In the top of the fourth, that would change as ETBU worked two batters across home to take the 2-0 lead. They would add another run in the sixth and enter the Thunder's final three outs with a 3-0 lead.
Down to their final out the Thunder found some offense working two batters onto the basepaths. Freshman Bailey Vande Giessen (Kalamazoo, Mich. / Portage Central) came to the plate and stepped up with a clutch double to score two and pull Trine within one. The team was unable to bring Vande Giessen home with the next batter lining out to third to end the inning and the game with the Thunder down 3-2.
Trine roared back in the second game of the day, scoring a staggering 21 runs against the Cardinals, the most since the 2015 season. The scoring started early, as the Thunder started the game at the plate and finished the first inning with nine runs. They would add two in the second, six in the third, one in the fourth and three in the fifth to end the game after five innings.
The Thunder hit four homers in the contest. Sophomores Makenna Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) and Nicole Ferraro (North Royalton, Ohio / Holy Name), and freshmen Mackenzi Cannici (Huntington, Ind. / Huntington North) and Kennedy Baugh (Walton, Ky. / Notre Dame Academy) each came away with a four-bagger in the contest. Ferraro led the team with five RBIs in the contest and Makenna Hartline led the way with four hits.
With the split on the day the Thunder ended the NFCA Leadoff Classic in a tie for second place with a 5-1 record. Only Virginia Wesleyan University, last years national champions, finished the weekend with a better record.
Trine will continue its spring break schedule on Tuesday, March 6, with a pair of games. The first is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. EST against Coe College and the second will be against Northland College at 8 p.m.