ANGOLA, IND.-- After dropping their first game of the day to Muskingum, Trine rallied back to defeat DePauw in an elimination game to advance to the championship round of the NCAA® Division III Angola Regional.
Muskingum scored the first five runs and held on as the Thunder rallied late to win the first game of the day 5-4 and send TU to the elimination game. A superb pitching effort from Justine Robles (Long Beach, Calif./Lakewood) and some timely hitting gave Trine the 4-1 victory over DePauw to eliminate the Tigers, who had previously defeated Washington & Jefferson, 19-7. Carly Searles (Levering, Mich./Petoskey) tied the single-season record in NCAA Division III history with 17 triples on the season with a three-bagger to lead off the DePauw game. Trine and Muskingum will meet in the NCAA® Division III Angola Regional Championship tomorrow, with first pitch scheduled for noon. A win by Trine would force a winner-take-all game two to decide the champion.
Muskingum 5, Trine 4
The Muskies shut down Trine through the first six innings and held on as the Thunder rallied in the seventh.
Kayley Bevard led off the game with a single through the middle. Kelly Martin worked a 2-2 count, fouling off a couple pitches before splitting the left-center gap with an RBI-double to score Bevard from first and make the score 1-0.
Fallon Gawry picked an opportune moment for her first-career home run, as she launched a solo-shot to left to put the Muskies up 2-0 in the second.
The Fighting Muskies tacked on three insurance runs that proved big in the fifth inning. Gawry was once again in the middle of the rally, starting things off with a leadoff single. A passed ball and a single by Amber Bova put runners at the corners with one out. A groundout put two in scoring position, before Bevard cleared the bases with a two-run single. Another single off the bat of Martin capped the inning gave MU a 5-0 advantage. Martin had three RBI's in the game.
In just her third start of the season, Muskingum pitcher Sarah Browning held the second-highest scoring team in the nation to just three earned runs in six-plus innings of work. Kristin Gill got the save with an inning of work, coming on to work out of a jam in the seventh.
Trine threatened in the seventh and rallied to create the aforementioned jam. A leadoff single by Catherine Porter (Canton, Mich./Plymouth Canton) and a pinch-hit double by Alicia Eavey (Avon, Ind./Covenant Christian) put two runners on. Senior shortstop Haleigh Daniels (Hamilton, Ohio/Hamilton) doubled home both runners to get TU on the board. After a walk, Kaitlyn Clark (Mount Juliet, Tenn./Wilson Central) singled to center to score two and cut the score to 5-4.
Gill was able to shut the door from there to get the final three outs and give Muskingum the win. Bevard finished 2-for-3 with two RBI's for the Fighting Muskies.
Clark finished 2-for-4 with two RBI's for the Thunder.
Elimination Game: Trine 4, DePauw 1
Robles' performance in the circle and some clutch-hitting by Trine sent the Thunder to tomorrow's championship round.
Searles got the Thunder in business with her speed, taking advantage of a vacated center field due to a DePauw shift with a leadoff triple. Searles came in to score on a squeeze play, with Kendra Marshall (Leesburg, Ind./Warsaw) picking up the RBI to make the score 1-0. The triple moved Searles into a tie for the Division III record in triples in a season with 17.
Nolan shut the Thunder down until the seventh, when a one-out single by Porter put TU in business. A sac bunt by Jamie Lydick (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield) moved the runner into scoring position, before Daniels came up big with a double to the gap to make the score 2-0. The double moved the senior a tie for second on Trine's all-time list with 38 career doubles.
Daniels also moved into ninth on Trine's all-time hits list and now has 161 hits in her career. The senior is batting .500 through three games in the Regional.
A dropped fly ball off the bat of Searles allowed Searles to race around the bases and score Daniels to make the score 4-0. Searles now holds the single-season record for most runs scored in a season with 65, breaking her own record set last year.
Linsey Button hit a solo homer in the seventh for DePauw's lone run.
Robles picked up the victory for the Thunder with a complete game effort. The sophomore allowed three hits, walked one and fanned two to improve to 11-2 on the season.
A pair of wins tomorrow would not only give Trine the Regional Championship, but set a new school-record for wins in a season.
Muskingum enters tomorrow's championship round needing just one win to advance to the Super-Regionals. The Fighting Muskies have won three-straight and five of their last six. They carry a 28-16 overall record into the contest.