LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The Trine softball team is ranked eighth in the final National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Top 25 poll, released today.
The Thunder jumped from its No. 22 ranking following a postseason run to the NCAA Division III Softball Championship. Trine opened its postseason run by winning the Whitewater Regional to claim its second consecutive Regional title and third in the last four years. The team followed that up with a sweep of Wisconsin-Oshkosh to win the second Super Regional championship in program history and advance to the National Championship for the second time. The Thunder dropped a pair of tight games in Oklahoma City to wrap up the season.
Trine played one of the most challenging regular season schedules in the nation this season. The team notched a 10-6 regular season record against teams that went on to appear in the NCAA Regionals. Including its postseason run, the Thunder earned a 15-8 record against teams to earn NCAA appearances.
For the third time in the last five years, Trine led the nation in home runs per game. The Thunder belted 59 homers in 47 games, an average of 1.26 per contest. Kaylee Fox (Vermilion, Ohio / Edison) led the power surge with 16 home runs, tied for the second-most in a season in school history and second in NCAA Division III this year. The junior became the school's all-time home run leader on her way to NFCA All-Central Region and All-MIAA First Team honors.
A talented freshman class helped power Trine's high-powered offense, as rookies combined to hit 35 of the team's home runs. Carly Bachna's (Elyria, Ohio / Elyria) 12 home runs ranked 13th in the nation, while Makenna Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) hit 11 to rank 17th. Bachna and Hartline both earned NFCA All-Central Region honors, while Michaela Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) and Claire Ryan (Union Grove, Wis. / Union Grove) each earned All-MIAA honors as freshman.
Danielle Ray (Hamilton, Ohio / Badin) and Hannah Kampmann (St. Paul, Minn. / Cretin Derham Hall) led an all-underclassman pitching staff to a 2.77 team ERA. Ray, an All-Central Region and All-MIAA performer, was one of 25 finalists for the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division III National Player of the Year award. She finished 18-5 with a 2.06 ERA and six saves. Kampmann notched a 14-4 record to go along with a 2.93 ERA.
The Thunder graduated just one senior, catcher Catherine Porter (Canton, Mich. / Plymouth Canton), who was named to the All-Tournament Team at the National Championship. Porter earned All-Central Region and All-MIAA honors, and was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District team for her combined work athletically and in the classroom.
Trine concluded the season with an overall record of 37-10. The 37 wins were the fifth-most in a season in program history. The team was ranked as high as fourth in the nation after a school record 19-0 start.