KISSIMMEE, Fla.-- No. 10 Trine earned a walk-off victory to remain undefeated on the final day of the Rebel Spring Games Saturday at Osceola County Softball Complex.
Catherine Porter's (Canton, Mich. / Plymouth Canton) two-run, walk-off homer in the eighth inning lifted the Thunder to a 3-1 victory over No. 4 Luther. The victory followed a 12-1, five-inning victory over Wisconsin-River Falls in the opener. Kaylee Fox (Vermilion, Ohio / Edison) homered three times and drove in six runs on the day. Fox is now a homer shy of moving into a tie for second in program history. The Thunder wrapped up the Rebel Spring Games with a 16-0 record, the team's best start in program history.
Game One: No. 10 Trine 12, Wisconsin-River Falls 1
Fox and a patient approach at the plate powered the offense, while Kate Saupe (Farwell, Mich. / Farwell) completed her second straight start.
Fox started the scoring in the top of the first, lining a two-run homer to center to put the Thunder up 2-0.
Trine then exploded for 10 runs in the third. Three consecutive walks loaded the bases for Carly Bachna (Elyria, Ohio / Elyria), who singled home a run to start the scoring. Fox crossed on a double steal for the second run of the inning. Three more walks continued to move the line, with Michaela Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) picking up the RBI. Trine drew 11 walks in the game.
Two-run singles by Claire Ryan (Union Grove, Wis. / Union Grove) and Nicole Ferraro (North Royalton, Ohio / Holly Name) broke the score open further, before Fox capped the inning with another big swing. The junior launched a towering, three-run homer to left center for her second home run of the day and brought home the final runs of the inning. Fox now has five multi-homer games in her career.
The Falcons got their lone run on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Kala Dorn in the bottom of the second.
Saupe picked up the victory in her second consecutive start. The sophomore allowed an earned run on four hits, walked two and struck out two to improve to 2-0.
Game Two: No. 10 Trine 3, No. 4 Luther 1 (8)
Two big swings and the pitching of Danielle Ray (Hamilton, Ohio / Badin) led to the walk-off victory.
Ray and Norse counterpart Samantha Bratland matched each other pitch for pitch over the first five frames before Luther broke through in the top of the sixth. Anna Strien got the Norse on the board with a solo homer to right-center.
Fox answered that swing with a big one of her own in the bottom of the frame. The junior launched a mammoth homer to dead center to knot the score at one-apiece. The homer was the 36th of her career.
Luther threatened in the top of the seventh, putting runners at the corners with nobody out. Bachna snared a line drive and threw to first to double off the runner for a quick two outs. A groundout ended the inning. Trine was unable to score in its half and the game went to extras.
Under international tiebreak rules, a runner was placed on second to start the eighth for each team. The Norse put runners on the corners with nobody out after a bunt single, but Ray induced three straight pop outs to work out of trouble.
In the bottom of the inning, Bachna advanced pinch-runner Kristy Rawlings (Lizton, Ind. / Tri-West Hendricks) to third with a line out to right. After a pop out, Porter stepped to the plate with two out. The senior worked the count full, then hammered a pitch on a line over the left field fence to send the Thunder home with the victory.
Ray worked all eight innings to remain unbeaten. The freshman scattered five hits, gave up an earned run, walked three and struck out three to improve to 6-0. Bratland very nearly matched the effort, surrendered three runs (two earned) on eight hits, with no walks and nine strikeouts.
Trine returns north for the rest of its season, beginning with the home opener Saturday, Mar. 25 against Anderson (Ind.). First pitch at SportONE/Parkview Softball Field is scheduled for 1 p.m.