Rowland, Miller Help DC Best No. 5 Thunder in Thrilling Upset
Wednesday, April 3, 2013 | by Martin Kluk
Trine (16-3)
Defiance (9-8)
4/3/2013 | Defiance, OH | Attendance: 50
Win: Rowland (3-2) 7.082103
Loss: Bree Fuller (6-1) 6.043347
Carly Searles (TRINE) 402000
Haleigh Daniels (TRINE) 312000
Neanen (DC) 301000
Miller (DC) 311201
McAvoy (DC) 201010
Holbrook (DC) 301100

DEFIANCE, Ohio – Freshman pitcher Alli Rowland (Westerville, OH / Westerville North) and senior outfielder Katie Miller (Archbold, OH / HS) played clutch roles in the DC softball 3-2 victory over No. 5 Trine Thunder in the first game of the doubleheader on Wednesday, April 3. The win marked the first time in head coach Jodie Holava’s tenure that the Jackets had defeated a ranked opponent.

The Purple and Gold got off to a fast start in the game by getting on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first. It was crucial because the team was going up against Trine pitcher Bree Fuller who had allowed two earned runs all season. Junior Macy Ferrall (St. Marys, OH / Memorial) got the action started for the Jackets by working a leadoff walk. The Thunder got the next out in the inning to bring Miller up to the dish. The fourth-year veteran came up huge by cranking a two-run shot over the left-center wall that put DC up 2-0.

Defiance was not done however. With the Thunder’s starting pitcher rattled, she walked the next batter in freshman Katie Patchin (West Farmington, OH / Bristol Local) and then surrendered a double to right center by junior Kailea Holbrook (Defiance, OH / HS). The base knock brought Patchin across the plate and made the lead 3-0 in favor of the home squad.

This would be it for the Purple and Gold scoring in the contest, but three runs was all that Rowland needed. The Westerville, Ohio, native went to work on the Thunder, who had averaged nine runs a game through its first 16 tilts. Rowland held Trine to two runs (one earned) over seven frames, allowing eight hits and striking out three. She really pounded the strike zone (no walks) and forced the visitors to put the ball in play that lead to her team making some terrific defensive plays.

During the fifth inning in particular, two crucial stops were made by Ferrall and junior Anna Vasquez (West Unity, OH / Hilltop). Both fielders had hard line drives go their way and each made a fantastic snag to keep the momentum building for the Yellow Jackets.

Trine kept things dicey in the top of the seventh by scoring an unearned run to cut its deficit to one run with two outs. But Rowland held it all together and got the final batter of the game to ground out to second and seal the big 3-2 upset for Defiance. Rowland’s record on the year improved to 3-2, along with lowering her ERA to a stellar 1.66 mark.

In the second tilt of the two-game affair, No. 5 Trine showed its rankings by blanking the Jackets by a score of 11-0 in five innings. The Thunder’s senior pitcher Andi Gasco tossed a no-hitter for the second-straight time against DC, as she went five frames of no hit ball in last season’s 10-0 win over Defiance, as well.

With the split in the non-conference series, the Yellow Jackets moved to 9-9 (2-2 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference), while Trine’s record now stands at 17-3.

The Purple and Gold will be right back to action tomorrow Thursday, April 4, as it will take the short trip down to Bluffton, Ohio to battle the arch-rival Beavers. The first game of the matchup is slated for 3:30 p.m.