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TRINITY SOFTBALL 2019 Season Recap

Hartford, Conn. – The Trinity College softball team, led by Head Coach Caitlin Hitchcock (17th season), had another successful spring as the Bantams reached the post-season for the fourth year in a row. The Bantams finished the year with a 19-14 overall record and reached the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship Tournament as the No. 3 seed in the East Division. Trinity knocked off Hamilton, 6-3, in the first round of the tournament before falling to Tufts in the semifinals. Despite the loss, the team saw numerous impressive performances this spring that should set the team up to compete for the conference title for the foreseeable future.

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 a doubleheader split before sweeping a twinbill the following day to start off the year, 3-1. Trinity left The Sunshine State with a 7-3 record thanks in part to a four game winning streak to cap off the trip.

The team was thrust into NESCAC East action upon returning to New England, hosting divisional foe Bowdoin College on the first weekend back home. The Bantams took care of business, winning the series after falling in Friday's opener, 7-2. Trinity combined for ten runs in Saturday's doubleheader to improve to 9-4 overall and 2-1 in the division, cruising to victory in game one before capping the weekend with a walk-off victory in game two. Junior Madeline Spencer-Orrell (Northampton, Mass.) earned the win in game one before junior tri-captain Lindsay Pressman (Huntington, N.Y.) picked up the win in the circle in Saturday's finale. Senior tri-captain SS Courtney Erickson (Everett, Mass.) played a big role in the series win, going 4-for-7 with a double, a stolen base, two runs, and an RBI on Saturday while setting the program record for career RBIs.

Courtney Erickson '19

Trinity hit a small skid following the Bowdoin series, going 1-3 in non-divisional games, before bouncing back with a key, 4-2 win over Tufts University to kick off that series. With two outs in the fifth inning of a 1-1 game, rookie Alex Chambers (East Lyme, Conn.) came up with the bases loaded and crushed a bases-clearing triple to centerfield to give the the Bantams the lead for good. Spencer-Orrell improved to 6-2 in the circle, holding the Jumbos to just two runs on five hits before giving way to Pressman who pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless ball to pick up the save.

Spencer-Orrell '20 (left) and Chambers '22 (right)

Tufts took the series with a Saturday sweep but the Bantams responded with an impressive win over Eastern Connecticut State. Trinity scored twice in the first and three times in the third inning which proved enough for the victory. Three Bantams turned in multi-hit efforts, led by sophomore 1B Gillian Birk (Westport, Conn.) who went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Senior tri-captain C Nicole Towner (Erie, Colo.) and sophomore LF Samantha Witmer (Drexel Hill, Pa.) both recorded a pair of hits with Towner driving in a pair of runs and Witmer scoring twice. Spencer-Orrell earned her seventh win of the year in the circle, striking out three in four innings of work, before Pressman came on and threw three innings of one-hit ball to pick up her second save of the spring.

The Bantams traveled to Waterville, Maine in late-April for a pivotal NESCAC East series against Colby College. The squad did its job, coming away with a three-game sweep to move to 17-12 on the year. Sophomore Hannah Zukowski (Burlington, Conn.) went 2-for-4 with a run, a double, and three RBIs to lead the way in the opener while Witmer went 4-for-8 with four RBIs on Saturday. Trinity ended the regular season with a 3-2 win over Western Connecticut State where sophomore CF Jenna Thomas (Orange, Conn.) went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored and first-year Jordan Stephan (South Orange, N.J.) went the distance, striking out five while allowing just one earned run to pick up her sixth win of the season in the circle.

Towner '19 (top), Birk '21 (left) and Pressman '20 (right)

Trinity opened the NESCAC Tournament with a 6-3 win over Hamilton to advance to the semifinals. Against the Continentals, Stephan picked up the win, turning in a complete game effort while holding Hamilton to three runs. Witmer led the Bantams offensively with a 3-for-4 game with two runs scored and an RBI. The team's season ultimately ended just a few hours later against the Jumbos after Trinity scored a run in the first but could not come back after five unanswered runs by Tufts.

Trinity had four players hit .300 or better this year and five players who had on base percentages of .340 or better. Erickson, Witmer and Zukowski were each named to the 2019 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) New England All-Region Team while Erickson and Witmer were also named to the NESCAC All-Conference First Team. Erickson hit .380 and led the squad with 28 RBIs and 30 runs. She crushed nine doubles and a team-high five home runs (T5th in NESCAC) for a .602 slugging percentage. Witmer enjoyed a breakout sophomore season that saw her rank second in the NESCAC with a .455 average and a .646 slugging percentage to go with the best on-base percentage in the conference at .556. She notched team-highs of 45 hits (T4th in NESCAC), 11 doubles (T7th in NESCAC), and four triples (2nd in NESCAC), and added 26 runs (2nd on team), 23 RBIs (2nd on team), seven steals, eight walks, and a Trinity record 16 hit-by-pitch. Zukowski hit .389 with a .477 on base percentage to go along with a .505 slugging percentage while driving in 21 runs, scoring 15 and leading the team with 15 walks.

Thomas enjoyed a strong sophomore season with 15 RBIs and ten doubles, as did Birk who drove in 12 runs and scored 13 times. Classmate 3B Cassidy Schiff (Darien, Conn.) finished third on the team with 22 runs scored to go along with seven doubles, while first-year Maura Keary (Fairfield, Conn.) made an immediate impact, slashing .337/.373/.404 with 16 RBIs and 18 runs scored. Towner capped off her college career with 21 RBIs, seven doubles and two homers while setting the new program record for runners thrown out stealing in a career. Spencer-Orrell led the pitching staff with a 3.89 ERA and nine wins while Stephan turned in ten complete games and seven wins in her rookie campaign. Pressman led the team with a 4.36 K/7 ratio.

Witmer '21 (left) & Zukowski '21 (right)

Trinity also had a successful year in the classroom as Birk, Pressman, Schiff, Spencer-Orrell and Witmer all earned NESCAC All-Academic accolades for their hard work in academia. Towner additionally represented the team on the NESCAC All-Sportsmanship squad.

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