Hartford, Conn. - Junior captain Rachael Smith (Winchester, Mass.) took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and finished with seven strikeouts in the circle to lead the Trinity College softball team to a 5-2 victory against New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) opponent Bates on Friday afternoon in the divisional series opener in Hartford. Trinity improves to 10-8 overall and 2-1 in league play while Bates falls to 5-4 on the year and 0-1 in conference action.
Offensively Trinity was led by junior 2B Michelle Treglia (Fairfield, Conn.) who drove in three runs on the day, while classmate RF Erica Merullo (Lynnfield, Mass.) and sophomore SS Courtney Erickson both tallied a pair of hits. Smith was dominant pitching for the Bantams, allowing zero hits through five and one third innings. Bates scored its two runs on a two-run blast by sophomore LF Mimi Crowley (Barnstable, Mass.) in the fifth, just one batter after the Bobcats broke up the no-no. Bates starting pitcher Kirsten Pelletier (Sidney, Maine) was saddled with the loss despite going the distance, recording seven strikeouts while giving up nine hits and all five Trinity runs.
Trinity, playing as the away team, plated two runs in the top of the first to open up an early 2-0 lead. Merullo came across on a Treglia ground out before a single up the middle by Bantam rookie 1B Natalie Bruno (Stratham, N.H.) brought home Erickson for the second run of the inning.
Treglia made it a 3-0 game in the fifth when she clubbed a triple deep to center field, scoring first-year LF Nikki Andersen (Delbarton, N.H.). Towner later singled to drive home Treglia, giving the Bantams a 4-0 lead before a single by Erickson and a walk by junior CF Meaghan Race (Grand Rapids, Mich.) loaded the bases for Trinity. Despite the momentum, Pelletier struck out the next Trinity batter to get out of the jam and limit the inning's damage to two runs.
After inducing a ground ball for the first out of the bottom of the fifth inning, Smith finally gave up a hit as Bobcat rookie RF India Woolmington (New York, N.Y.) lined a base knock to left field. Crowley followed with a two-run bomb to cut into Trinity's lead, 4-2. Despite the sudden offense, Smith kept her composure, recording the final two outs of the inning to keep it a two-run game.
Trinity added an insurance run in the sixth when Treglia grounded out to short stop, scoring junior 3B Katie Haghdan (Pelham, N.H.) who led off the inning with a double to left. After a scoreless home half of the sixth and top of the seventh, Trinity rookie southpaw Lindsay Golia (North Branford, Conn.) came on to shut the door, allowing just a single hit in her second save of the season.
Trinity and Bates return to action tomorrow for a doubleheader, beginning at 12 p.m. at the Trinity Softball Field.