Annoyed because his team scored only two runs in the first game of a doubleheader with Defiance last week, Trine softball coach Don Danklefsen said he ran his team into the ground.
Trine hasn’t stopped running.
The Thunder responded with an 11-0 win over Defiance in the second game. A day later, Trine beat Kalamazoo twice by identical 18-0 scores. Then at Olivet came a 34-0 win in the first game, then 19-0 in the second.
Since the 3-2 loss to Defiance, Trine (21-3, 4-0 MIAA) has outscored its opponents 100-0 in its last five games.
You never go up there expecting 34 runs, Danklefsen said of the opening game in Olivet, Mich. We scored five the first inning, then five the next inning. I told the kids that I wanted five an inning. I tried to challenge them.
And while Trine stole three bases early in the game, it didn’t attempt a steal the rest of the way.
We didn’t try to run it up, Danklefsen said. But when you hit nine home runs, you’ve got to advance.
Catcher Sarah Belote hit four of the home runs, and with them came 14 RBI.
The four home runs tied an NCAA Division III record, and the 14 RBI, and her 19 total bases, broke the records.
As a team, the Thunder also established a record with 63 total bases.
Danklefsen, who has led Trine to four consecutive NCAA Division III regional tournament appearances, says it’s difficult to put in perspective the 100-0 run that his team is on.
You can’t take for granted what we’ve done, he said.
On Friday, Trine was announced as one of seven regional sites for the Division III softball championships. An eighth site will be announced soon, and the 62-team tournament field will be announced May 6.
Athlete of note
IPFW junior Miloslava Shustova was named the Summit League’s women’s tennis player of the week. Shustova (22-3 singles, 19-6 doubles) posted a 6-0, 6-0 win over her Dayton opponent at No. 4 singles.