INDIANAPOLIS -- The Trine softball team concluded the season as NCAA Division III's leader in home runs per game, according to the final statistics report released by the NCAA.
The Thunder hit home runs at a rate of 1.26 per game to claim the team's third home run title in the last five years. Trine belted 59 home runs in 47 games. The team was one of just four schools in NCAA Division III to average more than one home run per game. Nine Thunder players homered this year, including three players who reached double digits.
Leading the home run surge was Kaylee Fox (Vermilion, Ohio / Edison), who concluded the season ranked second in the nation with 16 homers. The junior became Trine's all-time leader in career homers this season and now has 45 in her career. She was a NFCA All-Central Region and All-MIAA First Team performer this year.
Freshmen Carly Bachna (Elyria, Ohio / Elyria) and Makenna Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) each reached double-digits in homers as well. Bachna hit 12 bombs, including a two-homer performance in the opening game of the Whitewater Regional, to rank 13th in the nation. Hartline ranked 17th in Division III with 11 round-trippers. Each player was recognized on the NFCA All-Central Region Second Team.
Bachna and Hartline led a talented freshman class that combined to slug 35 home runs. Michaela Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) slugged six home runs, while Claire Ryan (Union Grove, Wis. / Union Grove) and Nicole Ferraro (North Royalton, Ohio / Holy Name) contributed three apiece. All five of Trine's freshmen hitters slugged .440 or better.
The power surge led the Thunder finished 12th in the nation with a .506 slugging percentage. The team averaged 6.64 runs per game to rank 18th in Division III.
Trine won its second Super Regional and third Regional titles on its way to the program's second appearance in the NCAA Division III Softball Championship. The Thunder finished the season 37-10 overall, sparked in part by a school-record 19-0 start. The team boasted five NFCA All-Central Region performers and six All-MIAA honorees.