Trinityâ€™s softball team finished off its regular season schedule with a Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader split with Southwestern University, winning 3-0 after falling 1-0 in the opener on April 19th.
Leading up to the game, the Tigers had held onto a nine-game win streak, which included six shutout games against Centenary College, Schreiner University and Southwestern University. However, the nine-game winning streak was snapped with a loss in the Saturday opener against Southwestern. Trinity bounced back quickly with another 3-0 shutout victory against the team.
Trinity stands 23-16 overall and 18-6 in conference play, and has clinched the second seed in this weekendâ€™s SCAC Tournament at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin, Texas.
In the opening game, Southwestern scored the only run of the game with a first-inning double, which mirrored Trinityâ€™s 1-0 win in the series opener on Friday, April 18. Â Trinityâ€™s only chance to score came in the sixth inning as the home team loaded the bases with no outs, but stranded all three runners.
â€œIt was frustrating to lose that first game on Saturday, especially after winning both games on Friday. I felt that we just didnâ€™t come out strong on offense and gave them the 1-0 lead early on. By not coming back from that inning, we defeated ourselves because the game was scoreless after that. I think what motivated us to win the second game was looking at the scoreboard and realizing that we didnâ€™t put up the numbers that we usually do in runs and hits,â€ said senior infielder Brooke Sanchez.
Sophomore pitcher Katie Castillon allowed just one run on seven hits, chalking up four strikeouts, but falling to 10-8 on the season.
Sophomore pitcher Kaci Wellik improved to 12-8 in the second game of the series, going the distance with her fifth consecutive shutout victory. Wellik recorded a pair of strikeouts to become the fourth player in school history to reach 100 in a single season. Wellik was awarded with the title of Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Softball Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season after the games.
The Tiger pitching staff has an ERA of 2.93, while their opponents stand at 3.84.
Trinity opened up the scoring in game two with a two-run third inning, as senior second base player Christina Armstrong and junior center Caitlynn Dykes both picked up an RBI.
Armstrong and Sanchez were selected for the All-Tournament Team. Sanchez was also selected as the SCAC Player of the Year, becoming the fifth Trinity Tiger to earn the award. Armstrong was an All-SCAC First Team honoree, and earned the distinction of being the NCAA Division III statistical champion in sacrifice hits per game.
â€œBrooke and Chrissy have been two of the best leaders a coach can ask for. This season has been tough for Brooke, as she had a season-ending injury in March. Even through this is a tough time for her, she has been an outstanding leader and teammate. Due to Brookeâ€™s injury, Chrissy has really stepped up for us in the shortstop position. I could not ask for a more selfless player on the field. I want to win this championship for our two seniors – all of the hard work they have put in over the past four years has really paved the way for our program. They deserve to know what it feels like to accomplish what youâ€™ve worked so hard for, and I look forward to watching the team go out and earn a SCAC Championship for Trinity,â€ Crnkovic said.
Junior catcher Brittany Haby drove in a run in the sixth to finish the scoring for the Tigers. Â Haby went 3-3 with one run and one RBI in the second game, accounting for three of the teamâ€™s six hits.
â€œThe team goal is to win the SCAC Championship. For the past three years we have come very close to doing so, but have fallen short. We are optimistic that we will be playing in that championship game on Sunday and finally proving that we deserve to be champions of our conference,â€ Haby said.
Trinity received a bye in the first game of the SCAC Tournament. The Tigers take on the winner of third-seeded Southwestern University and No. 6 University of Dallas at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 25. The championship game is slated for noon on April 27, with a second game, if necessary, to be played at 2:00 p.m. The winner will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Playoffs.