It was a busy year for Trinity athletics in 2017. The Tigers’ success was highlighted by amazing campaigns from the baseball and women’s basketball eams.
In women’s basketball, the Tigers 2016–2017 campaign ultimately ended with a 69-59 loss to Whitman College in the third round of the playoffs, but posted a 28-2 regular season record averaging 75.3 points per game. The team, led by head coach Cameron Hill, opened the season with 14 consecutive wins before losing a close one at Texas Lutheran University 85-78 on Jan. 14. A 28-2 repeat finish appears a steep task for the Tigers in the 2017–2018 season, as the team has already lost one of its first four games (65-61 at George Fox University on Nov. 18).
However, if there’s any team that could pull off the impossible, it’s the Trinity women’s basketball team. A Division III equivalent to the University of Connecticut’s team, the Tigers are an unstoppable and dominant force, and they have their sights on advancing beyond last season’s playoff result. The team looks to rely on production from across the board, starting with play from experienced members of last year’s team.
Guard Micah Weaver is entering her senior year at Trinity, looking to build upon a marvelous 2016 campaign that saw her averaging 15.8 points per game — with a sterling 54.1 field goal percentage — and 5.4 rebounds a game. Look for Weaver to be a huge contributor to the team’s success this season.
Expect a breakout campaign from sophomore forward Abby Holland. In her first year with the team in the 2016–2017 season, Holland averaged 11.4 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game. Through 4 games this season, Holland is averaging a remarkable 17 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. If Holland is able to maintain her production — which, judging from last season’s numbers, it appears she will — she’ll pose an incredible threat to the SCAC.
Overall, the Tigers are doing a decent job scoring so far — 68.3 points per game through the first four games — but their average is down from last year’s 75.3 points per game. Additionally, the Tigers are shooting at an overall lower percentage this season as well as rebounding less consistently. These numbers should not be too alarming at such an early point in the season. With many of last year’s stars returning in addition to a large incoming class, the Tigers should be as unbeatable as last year’s group. Expect them to go far in the playoffs, further than last season if they are able to maintain consistent play.
On to baseball! The Tigers had high hopes coming into the 2017 season having won the Division III title in 2016. While a repeat was not in the cards for 2017, the team enjoyed a 28-16 record, compiling a collective batting average of .307 for the season while averaging a robust 7.8 runs per game.
Notable victories included a 24-4 thrashing of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor on April 4 — the Tigers scored 7 runs in the first inning — a 15-5 rout over Centenary College on April 1 and a 19-0 demolition of Austin College, in which senior pitcher Dylan McGee threw a no hitter — the game was called after 7 innings.
On the offensive side of the ball, the 2017 team was carried by then first-year, now sophomore, Rafe Chaumette, who led the team with 38 runs batted in (RBI). Over 163 at bats, Chaumette reached base at a .423 clip, proving himself a constant pest for opposing pitching.
Another key contributor on offense was senior Scott Walters, who batted a remarkable .400, slugging .594 and driving in 30 runs. Unfortunately, with Walters having graduated, the Tigers will have some big cleats to fill.
On the other side of the ball, Trinity will have to fill the loss of graduating senior Chris Tate, who finished with a sparkling 1.73 earned run average over 52 innings pitched. Fortunately, returning are pitchers Kevin Flores and James Nittoli, who posted 2.03 and 2.08 ERA’s respectively in the 2017 campaign.Look for these players to build on these numbers as they gain even more experience. With a high-powered offense and respectable pitching in 2017, expect the Tigers to enjoy another successful season despite the loss of some seniors.