No. 16 Trine (Ind.) edges No. 25 Softball 2-0 in semifinals of NCAA III Regionals
By Tim Glon
ALMA, Mich. -- No. 25 Ohio Northern dropped an exciting 2-0 decision to No. 16 Trine (Ind.) in the semifinals of the NCAA III Regionals Saturday afternoon at Scots Field.
The second-seeded Polar Bears fall to 28-12, while the top-seeded Thunder improve to 40-8.
Trine advances to the championship game Sunday at 2 pm.
ONU moves to the loser's bracket and will face the winner of Saturday's final game between third-seeded Alma (Mich.) and fourth-seeded Chicago (Ill.) Sunday at Noon.
Trailing 2-0 entering the top of the seventh, senior Cassie Gaye led off the inning with a double and senior Katie Cretin followed with a walk.
Two outs later, sophomore Colleen Baliga blooped a single down the left field line, but sophomore pinch-runner Carly McKenzie was thrown out at the plate to end the game.
Sophomore Dani Steepe threw four innings of hitless relief to keep the Polar Bears in the game. Junior Katy Newman allowed three hits and two earned runs in two innings of work and took the loss to fall to 10-5 on the season.
Carly Searles tripled to right center and later scored on a ground out to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Leah Hall doubled off of the left field fence and later scored to give Trine a 2-0 lead after two innings.
Northern had baserunners in five of the seven innings, but could not push a run across the plate as Trine's Andi Gasco threw a 5-hit shutout and improves to 23-5.
"That was an outstanding college softball game," ONU head coach Kim Burke said. "We needed a few more clutch hits, but overall I was pleased with our performance. Dani (Steepe) did a nice job of pitching in relief and we were solid on defense. They just got two home and we did not. We are not going to panic - we will still have a solid chance to win the tournament."