While the rest of the Trinity student body was on spring break, the Trinity University softball team played a total of seven games and a double-header on Wednesday, March 19.
The Tigers, who have not had a game in almost one month, opened up their week of gameplay on Saturday, March 8 with a home game against Calumet College of St. Joseph, where they earned a win of 6-3. Unfortunately, the teams faced a one-hour rain delay, which also resulted in their second game against the Crimson Wave being cancelled.
“Even though we are well into March, we had only played eight games prior to our spring break week. We are just now figuring out who we are as a team this year and I am pleased with how the girls have been playing,” said Head Softball Coach Brandi Crnkovic.
Despite a 2-0 deficit in the top half of the first inning, the Tigers bounced back in style during the bottom of the fifth inning. Junior catcher Caitlynn Dykes blasted a three-run homer to left field, scoring senior second base Christina Armstrong and senior shortstop Brooke Sanchez. The score gave Dykes a career 10th home run, which broke the tie, and current school record, with alumna Michelle Gossein ’08.
“Breaking the record was a feeling I can’t even put into words. It has been something I’ve had my eye on for the past two seasons but couldn’t reach due to injury last year. Having my family there to share that moment with was really nice too,” Dykes said.
Following a single by junior outfielder Lauren Mercado, the game was called in the bottom of the fifth because of recurring rain, as the Tigers improved to 2-3.
Sanchez, who stole two bases in the matchup, along with scoring two runs, is now 11 stolen bases away from a second-place position in the record books. Mercado cracked an RBI double in the third, as Dykes crossed the plate. Dykes batted 2-3 with three RBI and a double, while scoring two runs. The three RBI place her in Trinity’s top five, with 69 total.
Next up, the Tigers took on East Texas Baptist University in a double-header, but fell to the team 13-2 and 2-1 on Wednesday, March 12.
Game one opened with a bang, as both teams scored two runs in the first inning. The Trinity Tiger scoring came from Dykes, who crushed a two-run homer, her 11th career home run after tying the record during their previous game.
The Tigers bounced back from the loss on Friday, March 14 during a SCAC double-header against University of Dallas, with scores of 15-1 and 5-3. Trinity improved to 4-5 this season with the two wins, which marked the conference openers for the Tigers. Dallas fell to 7-9 overall and 3-3 in SCAC play as a result of the game.
Game one started out slow, as neither team scored until the fifth inning. The Tigers got on the scoreboard first with a run in the top of the inning, but Dallas quickly tied it 1-1 with a run of its own in the bottom half. Trinity then cracked 11 hits on its way to a 14-run sixth inning that blew the game open.
First-year third-base player Sarah Paller got things started with a leadoff home run for the Tigers – the first of her collegiate career. Paller also drew a bases-loaded walk later in the inning to drive home another run. First-year outfielder Mackenzie Hill had four RBI in the inning, underscored by a three-run double down the left field line.
Despite their strong performance, the Tigers fell to Dallas the following day during the second game of a subsequent double-header. The Tigers won the opener 15-3, but lost the series finale 2-1. Trinity is 5-6 overall this season, and 3-1 in SCAC play.
“The team’s performance is not yet where we need it to be, but I believe that we will get there. Since we haven’t played too many games yet I think that we are still pretty inconsistent at this point. We have had many high points thus far but need to stay at that level of play in order to achieve what we want to this year. As long as we keep our goals in mind every day and work together, I truly believe that we will achieve what we are setting out for this season,” Sanchez said.
Dallas took the early lead in game one, scoring twice in the bottom of the first; however, the Tigers scored 15 runs in the final three innings – including an 11-run seventh – to earn the win. Trinity took a 1-0 lead in game two with a run in the first, but Dallas rallied with two runs in the third to take the lead for good. After picking up 20 hits in the opening game, Trinity’s offense was held to just five hits in game two.
The Tiger softball team defeated the University of Puget Sound in both games of a double-header Wednesday, March 19, winning 9-1 in the opener, then surviving with a 5-4 extra-inning victory in the finale.
Trinity improved its record to 7-6 on the season, while Puget Sound remained winless with a 0-17 overall mark.
After a lopsided opening game, the two teams produced a hard-fought battle of a game that lasted well into the night. Puget Sound opened the game with a bang, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning, but never scored again.
The Tigers rallied with a run in the bottom of the first, then scored two more in the second to make it 4-3. Trinity tied the game in the fifth, but then neither team scored again until the 11th.
Trinity returns to action this weekend, hosting Austin College in a four-game SCAC series. The Tigers and Kangaroos open the series at 5:00 p.m. Friday, March 21, followed by a Saturday double-header that is set to begin at 1:00 p.m.