HARTFORD, Conn. — The Trinity College Bantams scored one run in the third, three in the fifth and two in the sixth and posted a 6-3 win over the Hamilton College Continentals in a 2019 NESCAC Softball Championship quarterfinal at Tufts University’s Spicer Field on Saturday, May 4.
Hamilton was the No. 2 seed in the West Division and making its first appearance in the championship. Trinity (18-13 overall) is the third seed in the East Division and making its fourth straight appearance in the event.
The Continentals (28-10) not only shattered the program record for wins in a year, they won more games than any Hamilton College team in any sport ever. Hamilton’s historic season featured additional program records in games played (38), putouts (737), innings pitched (245.2), strikeouts (169), at bats (1,060), runs (255), hits (366), doubles (71), triples (17), walks (96) and stolen bases (76). Four Continentals wrote their names in the record book as well. Caitlin Berreitter has scored a program-best 92 runs in her career. Emily Fraser owns single-season records for runs (36) and runs batted in (35). Morgan Hartranft had a stellar first-year in the pitching circle, taking the program records for wins (13) and saves (5) in a single season. Ashleah Izaguirre has played the most career games (136) and owns single-season records for at bats (129) and hits (51).
Hamilton loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning and scored two runs on four hits and a walk. Anna Rasmussen laced a leadoff single to left field and two batters later Berreitter ripped a one-out single down the left-field line. Courtney Cardea followed with a run-scoring single and Yzaguirre walked to load the bases. Fraser scored Berreitter from third with a single to left field but a popup and strikeout brought the Continentals’ record-breaking season to an end.
Cardea went 2-for-2 with a double and two runs batted in. Caroline Chillily went 2-for-3 with a stolen base, Helen Lin doubled and Yzaguirre walked twice.
Trinity put one runner on in the top of the second inning. Hannah Zukowski hit a grounder up the middle that Lin knocked down with a diving attempt and nearly threw out Zukowski at first base. Zukowski advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt but was left stranded.
Lin tallied the first hit for Hamilton in the bottom of the second with a line drive that clanged off the fence in left field. Liza Brautigam nearly brought her home as she knocked the ball to left center, but the Bantams’ left fielder made a basket catch to end the inning.
Trinity broke the stalemate in the top of the third after a leadoff double to right center by Gillian Birk and a single up the middle by Samantha Witmer that drove in Birk. The Bantams loaded the bases with another single and an infield error, but Rasmussen ended the threat by running down a fly ball in right field for the final out of the inning.
Hamilton threatened in the home half of the third. Chivily started the inning with a one-out single up the middle and Berreitter reached first base on catcher’s interference Vicky Dunn dropped down a sacrifice bunt that advanced Chivily and Berreitter, and Yzaguirre earned a two-out walk that loaded the bases before Fraser fouled out to the catcher.
The Bantams put two more runners on in the fourth before Fraser made a charging catch in center field on a low line drive and chucked out the runner retreating to second base to end the inning. In the bottom of the inning Searcy led off with a single through the right side of the infield and moved to second on Lin’s sacrifice bunt. Brautigam’s groundout to the right side moved Searcy to third but she was left stranded on Rasmussen’s popout in foul territory.
Trinity extended its lead in the top of the fifth inning on two hits, two walks and a hit batter. The Bantams tacked on two more in the top of the sixth when Cassidy Schiff hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Birk, and a throwing error allowed Witmer to score as well.
Hamilton got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth. Chivily led off with a line-drive single to center field and immediately stole second base. Head coach Stephanie Hartquist called upon Cardea to pinch hit and the first-year did not disappoint as she blasted a stand-up double to left center. Cardea moved to third base on an infield groundout but was left there after a pop-up in foul territory.