ANGOLA, Ind. – One run would be enough as sophomore Adrienne Rosey (Schoolcraft, Mich. / Schoolcraft) continues her amazing season in the circle with a three-hit shutout victory over visiting Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in the opening game of the 2022 NCAA Division III Softball Championship Angola, Ind. Super Regional. The second game of the competition will be played tomorrow, Saturday, May 21 beginning at 11 a.m.
“Not a very exciting game for a fan to watch, unless you like a great defensive battle and strong pitching,” said head coach Don Danklefsen, “Kind of an ugly win, but I’ll take that over being beaten any day.”
The game would feature a pair of stellar young pitchers. Rosey took the circle for the Thunder and started the game with a quick first inning including her first strikeout of the day. For the Spartans freshman Lexi Miskey, who entered the day with a 1.22 ERA and 143 strikeouts, would take the bottom half of the inning and work her way out of a leadoff walk to keep the game scoreless.
Rosey would face her own trouble in the second, giving up a single to the second batter of the inning. The next batter would attempt to advance the runner with a sacrifice bunt, but Rosey would make a diving catch and hold the runner at first before finishing out the inning with a groundout.
In the bottom of the inning, Miskey would have trouble finding the strike zone and it would cost her team. Junior Amanda Prather (Indianapolis, Ind. / Roncalli) drew the leadoff walk and advanced to second when sophomore Scarlett Elliott (Utica, Ohio / Utica) was hit by an inside pitch. The next batter would lay down the successful sacrifice bunt to move runners to second and third with just one out. Freshman Ainsley Phillips (Yorktown, Ind. / Yorktown) would make contact in the next at-bat grounding out to shortstop and allowing Prather to scamper across home plate.
The team would strand their last runner and take the 1-0 lead into the top of the third.
It appeared that the run might be extremely crucial for the team, as Miskey started to place her pitches better in the bottom of the third, striking out all three batters she faced in the inning. Rosey was forced to keep the Spartans at bay in the top of the innings holding them scoreless in the third and fourth.
In the bottom of the fourth, Prather finally broke up Miskey’s no-hitter bid, with a sharp single through the left side. An error at the next at-bat left the team with runners on first and second and only one out, but once again CWRU would work their way out of the threat holding the score at 1-0.
The Thunder would load the bases in the bottom of the fifth, but were unable to capitalize again with the score staying at 1-0. Then they were quiet in the sixth. All told in the contest the team left eight runners on base.
“We got a little lucky today that only executing for one inning was enough to get the win,” said explained Prather, “Tomorrow we need to go out there and make the adjustments that we talked about today in between innings. We need to go out there, do our jobs and execute.”
A little lucky and a whole lot of Rosey and defensive excellence. The team would finish out the shutout in the final innings of the game and Rosey would secure the win with two strikeouts in the top of the seventh.
“I tried to keep the mindset that the score was zero to zero,” said Rosey following the game, “There were some times early this season when one run wasn’t enough and I promised myself that it would be from now on. Today we made sure it was.”
Rosey finished the game with seven scoreless innings of work on the way to the 1-0 shutout win. She allowed just three hits while striking out three.
The team improves to 31-11 following the victory, extending their winning streak to 16 games. They have yet to drop a contest in postseason play, conference or national tournament.
“We are just one more win away from the finals,” continued coach Danklefsen, “They did a good job today of getting us to play to their strengths and we still got the win. If we flip that tomorrow, which I know we can, and play to our strengths then we’ll be traveling to Salem next week.”
Trine will look to get that one win tomorrow, Saturday, May 11 at 11 a.m. when they face off with CWRU once again. A third game is scheduled to be played at 1:30 p.m. if necessary.