ANGOLA, IND. -- The Trine University softball team came up short against visiting Hope College in a battle of ranked opponents. The Thunder are currently ranked 13th by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, while the Flying Dutch come in at 20th.
Game one started as a pitchers duel with both starters making quick work of the opposition in the first inning. Hope cracked the scoreboard first in the top of the second with a two-run homer. They would hold on to the 2-0 lead through the middle of the third inning.
In the bottom half of the third, the Thunder responded. Senior Kaylee Fox (Vermilion, Ohio / ) added to her NCAA DIII leading RBI total with a sharp single past the third basemen which brought in classmate Emily White () from second base. The second run came on an error by the pitcher and the Thunder left the inning in a 2-2 tie.
The draw was shortlived with the Flying Dutch recording two runs in the top to take back the lead. Hope's pitcher would settle in and keep Trine off the board the rest of the game and Hope came away with the 8-2 victory after adding runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
In game two the Thunder fell behind early on giving up two runs in the bottom half of the first inning to enter the second trailing 2-0. They got one back in the top of the second, when Michaela Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine) hit a single to the shortstop bringing in her sister Makenna Hartline (Niles, Mich. / Brandywine).
The score held at 2-1 through the top of the third, but a four-run bottom half of the inning gave Hope a commanding 6-1 lead.
The Thunder picked up a run in the fourth when Michaela Hartline scored on a passed ball but entered the seventh trailing 6-2. One out away from defeat the Thunder worked the bases loaded and brought the tieing run to the plate. Makenna Hartline drew the bases-loaded walk to bring in one run, but the Trine rally ended there and the team would come away with a loss 6-3.
Sophomore Danielle Ray () took the circle in relief and stopped the bleeding for the Thunder pitching three and a third impressive innings. She allowed just three hits and recorded four strikeouts.
Trine will look to bounce back from the losses on Wednesday, April 25 when they travel to Adrian College for another conference doubleheader which is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.