The Trine softball team matched the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association record for best finish at the NCAA Division III Softball Championship, as the Thunder went 2-2 on the way to a tie for third place at the national championship in Tyler, Texas.
The Thunder opened with a 1-0 win over Illinois Wesleyan, with Mercede Daugherty's solo home run in the fourth inning being the lone run in the contest; Trine's Hannah Kampmann went the distance with a three-hit shutout in the circle.
Trine then was bumped to the consolation bracket with a 2-1 setback to Emory May 24. The Thunder manufactured a first-inning run, culminating with an RBI double from Ashley Swartout to score Makenna Hartline. Emory answered in the fourth with a two-run home run, and Trine could not answer in the setback.
The Thunder rebounded with a 10-7 victory to eliminate Williams May 25. Michaela Hartline blasted a pair of home runs to fuel the Trine offense, with Ashley Swartout adding a third home run for Trine.
Trine was then eliminated by Texas Lutheran May 26, 6-3. Michaela Hartline again cleared the fence with a two-run shot, which gave Trine a 3-2 lead in the fourth; Texas Lutheran responded with two-run efforts in both the fifth and sixth innings for the game's final score.
The Thunder finish the season with a 37-8 overall record. They end the season in a tie for third nationally, the best finish by a Trine athletics team in the university's NCAA era.