ADRIAN, Mich. – The Adrian College softball team looked anxiously towards its home opener on Monday afternoon against rival and fourth-ranked Trine University after several postponements. Nothing like taking on one of the nation's best teams in a big MIAA showdown to ease into a busy week of home games for the Bulldogs.
Trine took game 1, 13-1, but the Bulldogs showed resiliency in game 2 by taking a late lead before falling 7-6 to the 25-3, 8-0 Thunder. Adrian managed just two hits in the opener against Trine and the Thunder used a big eight-run fourth inning to break the game open. Andi Gasco hit two home runs and also picked up the pitching win improving to 12-2 in the circle. She went 2-for-3 at the plate and threw three innings with three walks and two strikeouts.
Katie Dewyre and K'ya Toles-Burton each had a hit for the Bulldogs who scored their run in the bottom of the first. Jessica Sarch walked to start the inning and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Kaitlyn Hinojosa.
The Bulldogs regrouped in game 2 and battled for seven innings. Adrian took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on Hinojosa's two-run home run to left, her second home run of the season. Trine regained the lead 3-2 after four innings, but Adrian had their biggest inning of the game in the fifth scoring three times on just one hit. Rachel Jason and Sarch converted a double steal and a pair of throwing errors allowed both runners to score on a very extended play. Brooke Stewart also had a sacrifice fly in the inning to give AC a 5-3 lead.
The Thunder answered back with three runs in the fifth to take a 6-5 lead. Amy Newell reached on an error to start the inning and that opened things up for the big inning. Lauren Harris had a RBI double, Leah Hall hit a sacrifice fly and Sarah Belote drove in the go-ahead run for the Thunder.
Adrian trailed 7-5 heading into the seventh but Dewyre reached on an error to start the inning. Two quick outs led to the dramatic finish as Kelsey Meyer was hit by a pitch to bring the go-ahead run to the plate. Morgan Brandt had a sharp single to center to load the bases. Toles-Burton then had a gritty at-bat drawing a walk to cut the lead to one. Kim D'Arcangelo hit a ball to second base and Jamie Lydick made a nice play to her right on a grounder and forced Toles-Burton out at second to end the game.
Meyer yielded three earned runs in six innings with four walks and two strikeouts. Gasco threw the final 2.2 innings to get the win and improve to 13-2. Bree Fuller got the start for Trine but was wild with six walks in four innings.