LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The Trine softball team is ranked No. 14 in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Top 25 poll.
The Thunder received votes totaling 85 points in this week's poll. Trine was ranked No. 9 in last week's poll and has been ranked as high as fourth in the nation this year. Last week, the Thunder went 2-2 with a sweep of Adrian and a sweep at the hands of Hope. Trine enters this weekend's MIAA Tournament 30-6 overall. The Thunder finished fourth in the conference with an 11-5 mark in league action. The team was ranked No. 1 in the Central Region in each of the first two official NCAA Regional Rankings, which are used to determine NCAA postseason seeding and at-large bids.
A challenging schedule has seen Trine beat four teams currently ranked in the Top 25. The Thunder own wins over Luther (No. 3), Messiah (No.7), Ramapo (No. 13) and William Paterson (No. 24). The team has a 9-5 record against teams ranked in the latest NCAA Regional rankings, which were released last Thursday. The final round of Regional rankings before the NCAA Tournament selection show will be released tomorrow.
Power continues to be Trine's offensive calling card as the Thunder lead the nation in home runs per game (1.36) and rank seventh in NCAA Division III with a .534 slugging percentage. The team has belted 49 home runs, the fourth-most in a season in program history. Trine also ranks 17th in the nation in scoring at 7.06 runs per contest.
Kaylee Fox (Vermilion, Ohio / Edison) became the school's all-time leader in career homers Saturday as she hit the 43rd home run of her career. The three-time All-MIAA First Team honoree has hit 14 home runs this season, the third-highest total in the nation and the fourth-most in a season in program history.
Senior Catherine Porter (Canton, Mich. / Plymouth Canton) and freshmen Michaela Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine), Makenna Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) and Claire Ryan (Union Grove, Wis. / Union Grove) joined Fox to give Trine five hitting selections on the All-MIAA teams. Each of the four players above earned second team honors. Makenna Hartline's 10 homers rank 14th in the nation.
Pitcher Danielle Ray (Hamilton, Ohio / Badin) was named to the All-MIAA First Team this past week. The freshman is one of 25 candidates for the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III National Player of the Year honor. Ray's strikeout rate of 7.8 per seven innings is ranked 29th in the nation, while her 132 strikeouts rank 35th in Division III.
Trine competes in the MIAA Softball Tournament Thursday and Friday, May 4-5 at Hope College. The Thunder face No. 1 seed Hope in the first round Thursday at 1 p.m. More information on the MIAA Tournament can be found HERE.
Trine awaits a potential selection to the NCAA Division III Softball Tournament. The field will be announced Monday, May 8 at 1 p.m. The selection show can be watched live HERE.