Over spring break the softball team traveled to Tucson, Arizona, to compete in the Tucson Invitational Games. Despite the heat and exhaustion of playing several games, the team played some of the best softball they have had all season. They not only walked away with a 4-2 record for the tournament, but they walked away with confidence that they can compete with other well-built teams.
â€œI think we did really well over the spring break week,â€ said senior outfielder Mackenzie Hill. â€œWe made a lot of improvements over a short period of time. Â We have had a slower start to our season than we wanted, but I think the Arizona tournament was a turning point. Â As a team, we look more confident and are playing closer to the level we want to be at.â€
The first day the team won against Eastern Connecticut State University and Augsburg College. The Tigers beat Eastern Connecticut 7-1 during the first game of the tournament. First-year third baseman Adrienne Edwards scored the first run for the Tigers of the tournament off first year outfielder Leah Rubioâ€™s hit. After junior outfielder Sara McCarty and senior second baseman Hillary Hoffman scored in the third inning, to put the Tigers up by three. In the top of the sixth inning, Eastern Connecticut had two doubles, allowing one player to cross the plate. The Tigers countered with four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
In the second games against Augsburg they took a 4-1 lead after the third inning. First-year outfielder Cameron Lavergne later scored another run off Hillâ€™s double in the sixth inning but Augsburg scored two runs in the seventh. The game ended 5-3, giving the Tigers a five-game win streak. Senior pitchers Katie Castillon and Katie Glomb had a combination of 11 hits for both games.
â€œI think our main strengths from Arizona was that we minimize our errors, and worked really hard to score our base runners with timely hitting,â€ Lavergne said. â€œAnother key aspect of our success was our pitching staff. Katie Glomb and Katie Castillion did a great job of pitching and being able to close out the games.â€
During the second day, the team walked away with a win and a loss. In the first game they played Greenville College, winning 4-0. Sophomore outfielder Marisa Trevino scored the first run off first-year first baseman Danielle Ruizâ€™s single hit. Three runs were later scored by Edwards, Hoffman and junior shortstop Rebecca Berreth. In the second game the Tigers were beat by one run against Stevens Institute of Technology. Stevens scored two runs in the first inning, but in the second, Ruiz scored off Lavergneâ€™s hit. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Berreth singled, knocking Hill in, and in the sixth inning, sophomore shortstop Devon Potter scored, tying up the game. No runs were scored by either team in the seventh inning but in the top of the eighth, Stevens scored a run. The Tigers were unable to score in the bottom, allowing Stevens to walk away with the win.
On the last day of the tournament, the team walked away with another split. Playing University of Wisconsin at LA Crosse, the Tigers scored two runs and only allowed the other team to score one. McCarty scored on Berrethâ€™s double in the third inning and then Ruiz scored off Hoffmanâ€™s single in the fourth inning. In their last game of the tournament, they fought hard against Central College but came up short with a loss of 5-4. Central scored three runs within the first four innings. The Tigers later scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth, but fell behind when Central scored two runs in the top of the sixth. Trinity scored one more run in the sixth but were unable to defeat their opponents.
â€œBefore our next games we are going to work on keeping our mentality from this past week and thriving off of it to continue winning games like we know we can,â€ Castillon said. â€œWe have the talent, and we work on both defense and offense everyday in practice. But before our next games against Centenary College on Saturday we need to focus on keeping our positive energy and charisma on and off the field as a team.â€
Not only did the team walk away with several wins, they were able to spend time together off the field celebrating a birthday, playing miniature golf, and even riding mechanical horses. After fighting through some losses and working through some challenges, these Tigers are stronger than they have been. The team will compete at home this coming weekend against Centenary as part of the SCAC conference play. They will play on Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. and on Sunday at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.