Middletown, Conn. - The Trinity College softball team fell, 4-3 in extra innings, in game one before getting shutout, 6-0, versus the Wesleyan University Cardinals on Tuesday in an inter-divisional New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) doubleheader in Middletown. Trinity falls to 12-11 on the year while Wesleyan improves to 12-12. The Bantams return to the diamond tomorrow for a doubleheader at home against Western Connecticut State.
The first game of Tuesday's doubleheader featured a pitching duel between Julie McDonald (Commack, N.Y.) and Trinity senior captain Rachael Smith (Winchester, Mass.). After three scoreless innings, the Bantams got on the board in the top of the fourth with a pair of runs. Senior Erica Merullo (Lynnfield, Mass.) walked to lead-off the inning, and after stealing second and advancing to third on a single by senior captain Katie Haghdan (Pelham, N.H.), she crossed home plate on a Wesleyan throwing error to third. Two batters later, Haghdan was driven home by a single to left field from junior Nicole Towner (Erie, Colo.).
Wesleyan evened the score in the bottom of the sixth. McDonald led things off with a single up the middle but was thrown out on the next at-bat as Danielle Rinaldi (Ewing, N.J.) reached on a single to right. Rielly Wieners (West Springfield, Mass.) then stepped to the plate and hit one over the left-center fence to bring home Rinaldi and set up the game for extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, Bantam rookie Samantha Witmer (Drexel Hill, Pa.) started on second and after stealing third, crossed home plate on a sacrifice fly from Merullo. Wesleyan responded in the bottom half of the inning and loaded the bases with zero outs before Brenna Monroe (Southwick, Mass.) hit a deep double to left field to bring home Rinaldi and Wieners for the walk-off hit.
Six different players recorded a hit for Trinity in game one, and Smith allowed just three earned runs in seven innings while striking out four.
Olivia Gorman (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) started off the bottom of the first in game two with a lead-off single up the middle, and later scored on an RBI single through the right side of the infield by Marina Williams (San Dimas, Calif.). The 1-0 lead proved to be all the home team needed, but the Cardinals' offense went off in the bottom of the fifth for insurance as they totaled eight hits and five runs to pull away, 6-0.
Rinaldi retired the side in order in the seventh inning to cap off the seven inning complete game. She went without allowing a run or a walk while striking out seven batters and surrendering just four hits. Trinity rookie Cassidy Schiff (Darien, Conn.) led Trinity's offense in the second game, recording three of the team's four hits, as she was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate.