Hartford, Conn. – The Trinity College softball team, led by Caitlin Hitchcock (16th season), put together another successful season as the Bantams reached the post-season for the third consecutive spring. The Bantams finished the year with a 17-14 overall record and reached the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship Tournament as the No. 3 seed in the East Division while seeing a number of strong performances along the way.
The team opened up the season with its yearly spring break trip to Florida to play 10 games before traveling back to New England. The Bantams opened up the season with losses to Springfield and TCNJ before rattling off a seven game win streak. Trinity left Florida with a 7-3 record after falling to MCLA in its final game in the Sunshine State, but got off to a great start to the season ahead of conference play back in New England.
In their first action back north, the Bantams dropped a twinbill to cross-division foe Amherst before responding with four straight victories to improve to 11-5 on the year. Of those four wins, three came as a sweep of Bates in the team's first NESCAC East series of the spring.
In game one versus the Bobcats, 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. The Bantams swept Saturday's doubleheader thanks to an extra-inning victory in game one as Smith won both games in the circle, striking out nine batters over 10.2 innings.
Trinity split an inter-divisional doubleheader with Hamilton to kick off the month of April before getting swept by Bowdoin in a NESCAC East series in Maine. The Bantams then traveled down the road to Wesleyan for another NESCAC West doubleheader which they dropped, but responded with a pair of wins the following day versus Western Connecticut State and an important, three-game sweep of division foe Colby, which clinched them a spot in the post-season. Trinity was dominant against the Mules, defeating them 15-4 in game one behind senior captain 1B Katie Haghdan (Pelham, N.H.), who went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and a pair of runs scored, and first-year RF Samantha Witmer (Drexel Hill, Pa.), who also drove in three runs on a 2-for-3 performance at the dish. The Bantams took both games on Saturday to improve to 17-11 overall.
Trinity fell twice to Tufts in a rain-shortened NESCAC East series over the final weekend of the regular season. The Bantams drew Williams in the first round of the NESCAC Championship Tournament, which was a single-elimination tournament for the first time ever this spring. Trinity and Williams previously clashed in the first round of the last two conference tournaments with the Ephs victorious on both occasions. Trinity fell once again this spring, 7-1, after Williams put up five runs in the top of the second inning and cruised the rest of the way. Trinity got on the board in the fourth frame on a double down the left-field line by first-year Cassidy Schiff (Darien, Conn.) and a sacrifice fly by Haghdan, but the deficit proved to be too much as Williams went on to win the game, and eventually the league title.
Trinity had seven players hit .300 or better this year and nine players who had on base percentages of .370 or better. Senior Erica Merullo (Lynnfield, Mass.) capped off an impressive career with a senior year slash line of .320/.378/.440. Merullo drove in 18 runs, scored 19 times and tied for fourth in the conference with 14 stolen bases. Haghdan finished third on the team with 17 RBIs and five doubles while Race finished third on the team with 23 hits and led the squad with six doubles. Senior captain Michelle Treglia (Fairfield, Conn.) added 12 RBIs, 22 hits and 18 runs as well. Trinity saw solid rookie campaigns as well as led by Witmer and and Kaitlyn DeCapua (Milford, Mass.). Witmer slugged .449 with a .459 OBP, scoring 19 times while clubbing four doubles and two triples. DeCapua hit .308 with five doubles and played a steady third base throughout the year.
Smith anchored Trinity's pitching staff after losing sophomore Lindsay Golia (North Branford, Conn.) to injury early in the year. Smith won 11 times and finished the year with a 3.06 ERA, 70 Ks (T9th in NESCAC), and just 46 earned runs in 105.1 innings pitched. Sophomore Lindsay Pressman (Huntington, N.Y.) finished second on the staff with 12 appearances and six starts, winning four games while posting a solid 2.96 ERA.