Updated: Sunday, 13 May 2012, 10:25 PM EDT
Published : Sunday, 13 May 2012, 10:25 PM EDT
ALMA, Mich. - It will be a winner-take-all finale to the NCAA Regional Tournament for the Trine University softball team as they suffered their first loss of the tournament 7-6 to Ohio Northern. Since it was Trine’s first loss, the two teams will face off again tomorrow, May 14 at 10:00 a.m. with the winner advancing to the College World Series in Salem, Virginia.
Trine (40-9) fell behind early as Ohio Northern scored a run in the first and two in the second. Things could have been much worse for the Thunder as the Polar Bears left the bases loaded in the second.
The Thunder were able to cut the lead to one in the third as freshman Leah Hall () led off the inning with a single. After a fielder’s choice allowed junior Lindsey Wise () to reach base, she then advanced to second on a ground out. Freshman Carly Searles () reached on an infield single, then, as she stole second, the Ohio Northern fielder was unable to handle the throw, allowing Wise to score from third. Junior Sarah Belote () would then deliver a single down the right field line, but would be thrown out trying to advance to second, but not before Searles was able to score.
Everything was looking good for the Thunder as they took the lead with a four run sixth inning. The first six batters for Trine reached in the inning. Freshman Tori Cuebas () drove in a run with a single to center. After a walk to sophomore Haleigh Daniels (), Hall would again deliver for the Thunder with a single to left. An error by the Ohio Northern Fielder allowed Daniels to score and advanced Hall to second. Wise would then deliver a single and once again, an Ohio Northern error allowed Hall to score.
Unfortunately for the Thunder, Ohio Northern was able to tie the game in the bottom of the inning as they scored two runs after the first two batters reached on an error and a hit.
It would come down to the final pitch in the seventh as the Thunder were unable to plate a run in the top of the inning. In the bottom half of the inning, the Polar Bears got a leadoff walk. Trine pitcher Andi Gasco () was able to retire the next two batters. On the final pitch though, the Ohio Northern player was able to beat out an infield single and send the series to a final game.
Gasco struggled early but fought back as she allowed five earned runs on 13 hits while striking out three.
Seven different Trine started collected a hit as Belote, Hall and Cuebas each tallied two hits and an RBI. All six runs for Trine were scored by a different player.
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