Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College softball team scored eight runs through the game's first three innings en route to a 9-1 victory over the visiting Bates College Bobcats on Friday afternoon in the teams' New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) East series opener in Hartford. Trinity improves to 9-5 overall and 1-0 in divisional action while the Bobcats fall to 9-4 on the year and 0-1 in league play. The two sides return to the diamond tomorrow for a doubleheader, beginning with game one at noon.
Senior captain Rachael Smith (Winchester, Mass.) picked up her fifth win of the season for the Bantams in the circle, allowing just one earned run on four hits while striking out four in the mercy-rule shortened, six inning game. Junior SS Courtney Erickson (Everett, Mass.) went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs while senior captain CF Meaghan Race (Grand Rapids, Mich.) also drove in two runs and first-year DP Jenna Thomas (Orange, Conn.) recorded her first multi-hit game of her career with a 2-for-3 performance. Bobcat rookie Caroline Bass (Newton, Mass.) was the lone Bates player to tally multiple hits as she went 2-for-3 at the plate.
Trinity got things going in the first when senior LF Erica Merullo (Lynnfield, Mass.) started the inning with a base hit before swiping second, her fourth stolen bag of the year. Merullo advanced to third on a ground ball out by senior captain 2B Michelle Treglia (Fairfield, Conn.) before crossing the plate on an RBI-single off the bat of Erickson.
Bates threatened in the top of the second after a walk by Mary Collette (Watertown, Mass.) and singles from Paige Ahlholm (North Andover, Mass.) and Kirsten Pelletier (Sidney, Maine) loaded the bases, however Smith showed resiliency and left the bases loaded while keeping the Bobcats off the scoreboard for the time being. The Bantams scored twice more in the home half thanks to a double to deep left-centerfield by Thomas that scored junior C Nicole Towner (Erie, Colo.), before Thomas later came around to score on a passed ball.
Trinity took advantage of three Bobcat errors in the third inning to put up a five-spot and open up an 8-0 advantage. Thomas and Race both drove in runs on RBI-singles to highlight the inning's scoring.
After a scoreless fourth inning by both sides, Bates stayed alive in the fifth when Andrea Russo, who led the inning off with a walk, came around to score on a sacrifice fly off the barrell of Collette. Pelletier, Bates' starting pitcher, kept the Bantams from scoring in the home half despite getting two runners on with no outs, but the Bantams came through the following inning to walk off.
Treglia led the inning off with a hard-hit double down the left field line which brought Erickson to the plate. Erickson laced a ball past the shortstop and into the outfield, bringing Treglia home and capping off the 9-1 victory.