LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The Trine softball team is ranked No. 12 in the nation in the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Division III Softball Poll, released this morning.
The Thunder received votes totaling 92 points in the poll, a 36-point increase from last week's No. 18 ranking. Trine opened its season by winning the Transylvania Invitational, held at the University of Kentucky. The Thunder dealt the host Pioneers a pair of losses and earned wins over Wartburg and 2016 NCAA Regional participant DePauw. Trine outscored its opponents 32-13 over the course of the four games.
New contributors helped power the weekend sweep. Makenna Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) was named the MVP of the Transylvania Invitational after hitting .333 with three home runs and five RBIs. Pitcher Danielle Ray (Hamilton, Ohio / Baden) and shortstop Carly Bachna (Elyria, Ohio / Elyria) earned All-Tournament Team honors in their first action for the Thunder. Newcomers contributed four home runs, 14 RBIs and 15 runs scored over the weekend.
Catherine Porter (Canton, Mich. / Plymouth Canton) also earned All-Tournament Team honors in the Transylvania Invitational. Junior first baseman Kaylee Fox (Vermilion, Ohio / Edison) hit the 30th home run of her collegiate career to move into third on the school's all-time list. Trine is slugging .514 as a team with six home runs through four games.
Trine travels to the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla. for spring break. The Thunder will face NFCA Division III Top 25 foes Cortland (19), Luther, (5) and Messiah (7) over the course of its stay in Florida.
Trine opens spring break play Sunday, Mar. 12 against Cortland at 9 a.m. The Thunder also face Wheaton (Mass.) at 1:30 p.m. on the opening day of the Rebel Spring Games.
The NFCA Division III Top 25 Poll is selected by eight NCAA Division III head coaches representing the eight NCAA regions.