SALEM, Va. – A pair of home runs would lead the way for the Trine University softball team as they picked up an extra inning 4-2 victory over Eastern Connecticut State University in their opening game of the 2022 NCAA Division III Softball Championship. The game spanned two days, with rain forcing a suspension Thursday night before resuming for the final two and half innings at noon on Friday.
Sophomore Adrienne Rosey (Schoolcraft, Mich. / Schoolcraft) would get the start in the circle and began the game with a bit of turbulence. After a strikeout to start, she would allow two batters to reach before getting out the first inning.
The Thunder would strike first in the contest when sophomore Scarlett Elliott (Utica, Ohio / Utica) sent a ball over the left field fence before trotting around the bases. It was the lone run of the second inning for either team and the 1-0 lead would last into the third inning.
The Warriors found offense of their own in the bottom of the third. A leadoff single followed by a sacrifice bunt and another single would tie the game. The team would then load the bases by drawing two walks. Rosey would strikeout the next batter and looked set to escape the inning, but the opposition would get another hit bringing in the runner from third. A second run was stopped by a great throw from Trine outfielder Anna Gill (Ashville, Ohio / Teays Valley).
Trine would respond in the top of the fifth. Freshman Emma Beyer (Rochester, Mich. / Stoney Creek) would lead the inning off by drawing a walk, followed by stealing second base. The next two batters would strikeout for the team, before freshman Ainsley Phillips (Yorktown, Ind. / Yorktown) would record a double to right center scoring the run and making the score 2-2.
In the middle of the sixth inning the rain would arrive, forcing a delay. A few minutes later rain storm turned to a thunderstorm and with rain forecasted for the rest of the night the contest was suspended, to resume the next day at noon.
The next two half innings would be quick affairs, but the bottom of the seventh would bring action to the base paths. It started with Rosey struggling to find the zone in the circle. She would hit the first batter with the second reaching on an error. She would settle down and force the first out in the next at-bat but then walk the next, loading the bases with just one out on the board. A flyball to centerfield looked set to end the game, but junior Ellie Trine (Kokomo, Ind. / Kokomo) would not only make the catch but fire a bullet to home plate ending the inning and sending the game to extra innings.
The Thunder found their own excitement in the top of the eighth. It started with Ellie Trine continuing the great play with a sharp single to right field. Senior Taylor Murdock (Lapel, Ind. / Lapel) would follow up with her seventh homerun of the season. The huge hit to right field gave the team a 4-2 lead that they would take into the bottom of the inning.
Rosey would make quick work of the opposition to finish out the game, forcing three straight fly balls to end the game with the victory. Rosey was the lone pitcher in Salem to go the distance in her team’s first game. She finished allowing two runs on five hits and four walks while striking out seven.
The win advances Trine to the winners’ portion of the bracket where they will face the second seeded Salisbury University. The Seagulls won their first game with a walk off hit in the bottom of the ninth inning breaking a 5-5 tie for the 6-5 victory over Millikin University.
The game is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, May 28, but the time of the contest has yet to be determined.