ANGOLA – One run was enough.
The Trine softball team opened its best-of-3 NCAA Tournament Super Regional series against Case Western Reserve on Friday with a 1-0 victory behind Adrienne Rosey's second shutout of the tournament and 11th complete game of the season.
The Thunder (31-11), which is playing host to the super regional, has won 16 games in a row, 31 of its last 35 and is one win from advancing to the NCAA Division III National Championships for the second time in four years.
“There were times early in the season where one run wasn't enough for me,” said Rosey, who started the season 0-4 but has won 14 of her last 17 decisions. “I promised myself early in the season that it would be enough in case it ever happened again. I promised myself this is good enough and I'm going to go out there and dominate because that's my job.”
The Thunder and Spartans (30-11) will play Game 2 at SportOne/Parkview Field Softball Field at 11 a.m. today. A rubber match is scheduled to follow if necessary at 1:30 p.m.
“We have to reset and go after it (today),” Thunder shortstop Amanda Prather said. “They're not going to give it to us, we have to go out there and take it ourselves. We have to step up for our pitchers more than we did (Friday).”
Prather had one of the only two hits Trine managed, walked and scored the game's lone run.
In the second inning, Prather led off with a walk against Case Western pitcher Lexi Miskey, who also pitched a complete game and struck out 10. She made a mistake against Scarlett Elliott, following the walk with a fastball off Elliott's elbow that put two runners on with nobody out.
An Emma Beyer sacrifice bunt moved the runners up a base, and Prather raced home on an Ainsley Phillips groundout to short.
“Baserunning, I'm always aggressive, I'm always looking to move to the next base,” Prather said. “I just wanted to advance and, ... push that run across.”
Rosey did the rest, combining fastballs at the top of the zone with a slick changeup to strike out seven. She surrendered only three hits, walked none and whiffed three of the last four batters she faced, notching a strikeout with the tying run on second to end the sixth and then fanning a pair in a 1-2-3 seventh to end the game..
Rosey, the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Pitcher of the Year, lowered her ERA to 1.00.
She has three of Trine's four wins in the NCAA Tournament.
“It was a very small, tight strike zone and, ... I thought she did a really good job of mixing speeds and hitting her spots,” Trine coach Don Danklefsen said. “More full counts than normal because of the tight zone, but when we needed the big pitch, she delivered.
“And I thought as a whole defensively, you saw what we can do, even though our offense was lacking.”
Prather made an outstanding sliding catch in foul territory to end the third inning with a runner on.
Trine walked four time and left eight runners on base, failing to take advantage of two Spartans errors.