The Trinity Softball team opened up a weekend of play with a split doubleheader against Texas Lutheran, followed by four consecutive losses on Sunday, March 30 and Tuesday, April 1. The Tigers fall to 13-14 with the losses, and the team has now lost five consecutive games.
The Tigers won the opening game 2-0 on Saturday, March 29th, handing the Bulldogs their first conference loss of the season. Trinity rallied from an early 2-0 deficit to tie the game in the fifth and teams battled into the eighth inning to see who would be victorious in game two.
Sophomore pitcher Kaci Wellik tossed a four-hit shutout to start the day, striking out seven batters without issuing a walk. Wellik also contributed two of Trinity’s six hits on offense. Senior second base player Christina Armstrong went 2-4 in game one, driving in the only runs of the game to break up a scoreless tie in the fifth inning.
“We have been trying really hard to keep our heads up. We have had a very hard schedule this season so we’ve played teams ranked high nationally. It’s giving us great looks at good teams but unfortunately it reflects badly on our record,” Wellik said. “We have hung in there with some very good teams but have sadly fallen short. Overall in conference play, however, we are still on track for a SCAC championship and I am very optimistic about achieving this goal.”
In game two, Texas Lutheran scored a pair of runs in the opening period, and the Tigers remained scoreless until the fourth inning. Trinity managed a run in both the fourth and fifth innings to tie the game, which eventually led to extra innings. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Texas Lutheran rallied with three straight singles to score the game-winner.
Junior center Caitlynn Dykes went 2-4, scoring once and driving in Armstrong for the tying run in the fifth. Sophomore pitcher Katie Castillon was charged with the loss, despite allowing just two unearned runs on eight hits, and striking out seven batters.
The Tigers took on Texas Lutheran again in a second double header the following day, losing 4-0 and 4-1 to close out the weekend series against the team.
In game one, Texas Lutheran broke up the 0-0 tie with a run in the third inning, then hammered out three runs on four hits in the fifth to pull away for the victory. Trinity was held to just three hits in the opening game, though two of those were doubles.
Wellik gave up four runs on 11 hits in the opener, despite tossing out a four-hit shutout the previous day.
The series finale remained scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, when the Bulldogs plated a pair of runs. The home team added two more insurance runs in the sixth, and the Tigers broke up the shutout with a run-scoring triple by Dykes in the top of the seventh.
“Losing is part of the game, but we’re looking to bounce right back this weekend. We are disappointed with the outcomes this past week. Sitting in second place, we’re still in a good spot in conference,” Dykes said.
Trinity had seven hits in the second game, but also committed two errors, resulting in two unearned runs in the game. Castillon was once again charged with the loss, allowing two earned runs out of four on six hits, and striking out four batters.
Wellik went 2-2 in the second game, while Emily Fleischman also had two hits and scored Trinity’s only run of the day.
In a rescheduled game against University of Mary Hardin-Baylor on Tuesday, April 1, the team dropped both ends of a non-conference doubleheader, losing 9-1 and 4-2.
The Tigers led 2-1 after five innings of the second game, but the Crusaders rallied with three runs in the bottom of the sixth to secure the win. Mary Hardin-Baylor opened the scoring in game one with four runs in the third inning. After Trinity got on the board with a run in the fourth, the Crusaders finished off the game with a five-run fifth.
Paller picked up two of the team’s five hits in the opening game for the Tigers, while Junior center Brittany Haby drove in Dykes for the game’s only run. Castillon was charged with the loss in game one.
In game two, Dykes went 2-4 scoring another run, while first-year outfielders Mackenzie Hill and Hilary Hoffman both drove in runs for the Tigers.
Trinity opened the scoring with a run in the fourth inning, but Mary Hardin-Baylor quickly tied the game in the bottom of the inning. The Tigers then pulled back in front in the next half-inning, but could not hang on to their lead in the end.
“Our games this weekend are very important for our standings in conference. We’ve played so many games these past two weeks, it will be nice to get some practice time in to work on things we have been struggling with. We are working on our weaknesses and focusing on improving daily,” said head softball coach Brandi Crnkovic.
Trinity returns to action this weekend, facing off against Centenary College for a four-game Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference series at Centenary.