Updated: Monday, 14 May 2012, 8:43 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 14 May 2012, 8:43 PM EDT
It was heartbreak for the Trine University softball team as they ended their season in the finals of the NCAA Regional 7-5 to Ohio Northern. The Thunder end their season with a record of 40-10 as they advanced the farthest into the NCAA tournament in school history.
Ohio Northern struck first as they scored three runs on a home run in the top of the first.
The Polar Bears then scored four runs in the top of the second on just two hits as Trine committed four errors in the inning.
The Thunder were able to cut the lead in half as they countered with their own four-run inning in the bottom of the second. Sophomore Paxton Fleming (Boulder City, Nev./Boulder City) drove in the first run on an RBI fielder’s choice. Freshman Carly Searles (Levering, Mich./Petoskey) then knocked in a run on a single to right. Ohio Northern tried to get junior Lindsey Wise (Oregon, Ohio/Clay) at the plate but the throw was off line, allowing Fleming to also score. Freshman Leah Hall (Indianapolis, Ind./Franklin Central) then delivered an double to the left center gap scoring Searles from third.
Trine had an opportunity to pull the game close in the third inning as they loaded the bases but were unable to push across a run.
Trine would get another run in the fourth on a solo blast by junior Andi Gasco (Levering, Mich./Petoskey) on a moon shot to left center. The home run set the school career record for homers.
The Thunder would again threaten in the fifth as they had two runners on but had a runner thrown out at the plate.
They would run into some bad luck in the bottom of the sixth as Searles reached on an infield single and advanced to second on an error. A batter later, Gasco hit a rocket back up the middle but the Ohio Northern pitcher snared it to double off Searles at second.
Trine would get a runner on the in top of the seventh, but would again strand the runner at third as they were unable to get the tying run in.
Gasco started for the Thunder giving up three earned runs on five hits while striking out one in two innings pitched. Freshman Bree Fuller (Hubbardston, Mich./Fulton) came on to pitch outstanding in relief, holding the Polar Bears scoreless in the final four innings while giving up six hits and striking out two.
At the plate, Searles collected three hits while driving in a run and scoring once. Junior Lauren Harris (Uniontown, Ohio/Hoover) was the only other Trine player to collect two hits on the day. Fleming, Hall and Gasco each drove in a run.
Searles, Gasco, Hall and junior Sarah Belote (Bronson, Mich./Bronson) were named to the All-Tournament team.
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