TUCSON, ARIZ. – The Trine University softball started their season with a pair of comeback wins over nationally-ranked opponents. First they defeated #21 Central (Iowa) College by the score of 11-3 and then they defeated #24 Babson College 3-2.
In the season opener, the Thunder found themselves trailing the Dutch after a three run third inning. In the bottom of the fourth, the Thunder would finally get on the board for the first time this season. It started with a RBI single by sophomore Makenna Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine). The next batter walked to load the bases, bringing up senior Kaylee Fox (Vermillion, Ohio / Edison) who finished last season tied for most home runs in Division III softball. Fox started 2018 with a bang, clearing the bases with her first hit and homer of the season, to give the Thunder the 5-3 lead going into the fifth inning.
Trine didn't look back adding two runs in the fifth and then finishing off the game early with four runs in the sixth for the 11-3 mercy win. Sophomore Michaela Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) led the team with three hits, while Fox finished with the game high four RBIs.
In the second game of the day, the Thunder found themselves facing a 2-0 deficit heading into the final inning of the game. In the top of the seventh, two outs away from defeat, Makenna Hartline came to the plate with runners at the corners. The outfielder who started the scoring in the first game, came up big in the clutch with her first homer of the season. After touching them all, Trine led the Beavers 3-2.
The Thunder would give up only a walk in the bottom half of the inning and would come away with the victory to improve to 2-0 on the season.
The take on another pair of ranked teams on Saturday, March 3, starting with #2 St. John Fisher College and then finishing off the day with #18 Messiah College.