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April / May 2013

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Thunder Update

Updated as of 4/10/13. For the latest and greatest scores/results/news, go to

The softball team is having one of its best seasons in school history as it got off to a 21–3 start and achieved its highest national ranking ever, coming in at No. 4. The Thunder won the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Leadoff Classic during spring break. The team knocked off then–No. 8 Illinois Wesleyan and defending National Champion Pacific Lutheran, which is ranked No. 15.

The Thunder returned home and started with a 17–1 and 10–1 sweep of Bluffton. Trine began conference play by plowing through Kalamazoo and Olivet by a combined score of 89–0. Against Olivet, the Thunder broke or tied four NCAA Division III records. Sarah Belote set individual records for single–game RBIs and total bases and tied the record for most home runs with four. As a team, Trine set the record for total bases with 63. The team also put themselves in the NCAA record book in seven other categories.

The team continues to push ahead as it looks to win the conference championship for the second straight season and host the MIAA tournament in early May on the way to another NCAA regional appearance and perhaps a DIII World Series berth.

Men’s Tennis
Men′s tennis started off the season strong, returning with a 4–0 record from the team trip to Hilton Head, S.C., including two wins over Division II teams Post (Mass.) and Malone (Ohio). The team nearly knocked off Calvin in MIAA play and picked up a win over Adrian. Freshman Caleb Knust has been outstanding with an 8–1 record in singles action with his only loss coming to a Division I school.

Women’s Tennis
The women′s tennis team took a trip to Hilton Head, S.C., over spring break to play a wider variety of teams. While in South Carolina, the women won three of the four matches in which they competed, with their only loss coming to a DII team. At the Rose–Hulman Tournament in March, the Thunder took the top spot with 16 points. The team swept Olivet 9-0 for its first MIAA win of the year.

The baseball team has started off great for the 2013 season. It is currently 7–5 in conference play, and 11–10 overall. After the Thunder split the first two conference series with Calvin and Albion, the Thunder recently won its first series, taking three games over Alma.

The team′s Florida trip was successful as the Thunder played great baseball and went 4–4. In the first contest, the offense put up an outstanding 26 runs. The top highlight of Florida was getting a win over then–21st–ranked Aurora. Phil Stakely has the top highlight of the year, as he threw a no hitter against Albion at home. This was the sixth no–hitter in Trine University history and the first since 2002.

The Thunder looks to continue on what they have accomplished and push toward qualifying for the MIAA Tournament at the end of the season.

Women′s Lacrosse
The women′s lacrosse team continues to improve during the first–ever MIAA lacrosse season. The team dropped its first two games of the season before picking up its first win against Wilmington (Ohio) on March 30 with a final score of 20–11. The team is led by first–year head coach Jeannine Ravellette.

The offensive attack is currently led by senior Emily Canepa with 10 goals during the first four games. A strong defense is led by sophomore goalkeeper Grace Garrett with 41 saves so far.

The team is looking forward to traveling to Iowa to pick up some extra non-conference games later in the season and it looks to qualify for the first–ever MIAA Women′s Lacrosse Tournament.

Men′s Lacrosse
The men′s lacrosse team had a once–in–a–lifetime experience – makes that two times for the team — as it played two games in March at the University of Notre Dame′s Arlotta Stadium. The Thunder split games in South Bend.

The Thunder started off their first–ever season in the MIAA winning the first two games, easily defeating Alma and Olivet. After starting the season 1–4, the Thunder came back to win five straight games. Junior Rob Brzezinski has been at or near the top of the DIII national rankings throughout the season in both faceoff win percentage and groundballs.

The squad looks to finish out the MIAA season strong and qualify for the first MIAA conference tournament at the end of the season.

Trine University men′s and women′s outdoor track and field teams started off their seasons with a trip to Atlanta for the Emory University Invitational. The teams have also competed at Goshen College, Anderson University and Michigan State University.

At Michigan State, the Thunder went up against several Division I and II teams. The men′s 4x400m relay team finished second at the meet, beating the likes of Michigan State, Notre Dame and Grand Valley State. With the season almost halfway over, the athletes will be continuing their hard work to prepare for the conference meet set for May 2-3 at Hope College.

Players of the week honors

It′s been a great start to the spring sports season for the Trine University Thunder as eight different student–athletes have already garnered MIAA Player of the Week honors. In addition, three others have received National Player of the Week honors.

After pitching just the sixth no–hitter in Trine baseball history, and the first since joining the MIAA, senior Phil Stakely was honored as the MIAA Pitcher of the Week and the NCAA Division III National Pitcher of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Stakely was also named to the National Team of the Week.

After helping lead the softball team to a first–place finish at the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) DIII Leadoff Classic, freshman Kaitlyn Clark was named the NFCA DIII Player of the Week on March 13, becoming the first Trine softball player to do so. Clark earned MVP of the NFCA Division III Leadoff Classic while hitting 12–for–23 (.522) with five runs, two doubles and three RBIs. She also stole one base and struck out just once while recording a .522 on–base percentage and a .609 slugging percentage. In the field, Clark recorded five putouts. For the reporting week of March 4–10, Clark recorded a total of 14 hits in 35 at–bats, eight runs, two doubles, one home run and seven RBIs.

Senior Sarah Belote was named the MIAA Position Player of the Week. Belote hit .643 (9–for–14) with six home runs and 20 RBIs to lead Trine to four straight MIAA victories. She went 6–for–6 at the plate and set an NCAA Division III single–game record with 14 RBIs in a 34–0 victory over Olivet. She also became just the third player in Division III softball history to hit four home runs in a game, and added a double and single for 19 total bases, breaking another DIII mark.

In the same week, fellow senior Andi Gasco was named the MIAA Pitcher of the Week. Gasco allowed just two hits and struck out 21 in 14 innings in posting a 3–0 record for the week. She pitched her second career no–hitter in an 11–0 victory over Defiance. She then followed with a one–hitter, striking out eight in an 18–0 MIAA win over Kalamazoo and allowed one hit and struck out 10 in four innings in a 34–0 win over Olivet. Gasco also hit .818 (9–for–11) at the plate in the doubleheader sweeps of Kalamazoo and Olivet with two home runs, 11 RBIs, 15 runs scored, three doubles and a triple. She is being honored as Player of the Week for the first time this season and fifth time in her career.

The Trine men′s and women′s tennis teams swept the MIAA Player of the Week honors March 11 as freshman Caleb Knust and junior Jessica Huhnke were honored by the conference. Knust posted a perfect 4–0 record at No. 1 singles winning all four matches in straight sets and was 2–2 at No. 1 doubles. His victories included wins over NCAA Division II opponents Malone and Post. Huhnke posted a 3–1 record at No. 1 singles and a 4–0 mark at No. 1 doubles, including wins over DII schools, for the Thunder during the spring trip.

Trine sophomore Grace Garrett became the first Thunder player honored as the MIAA women′s lacrosse Defensive Player of the Week on April 1. Garrett made 23 saves as the Thunder split a pair of nonconference contests. She had 14 saves in a 17–6 loss to DePauw and turned away nine shots in a 20–11 victory over Wilmington, Ohio.

In the same week, Trine men′s lacrosse senior Dalton Madsen also earned the Thunder′s first MIAA Player of the Week honor as an offensive player. Madsen scored eight goals and added five assists for 13 points in leading the Thunder to two nonconference victories. He had four goals and an assist in a 15–5 win over Baldwin Wallace, and then added four goals and four assists in a 20–6 victory over Wilmington.

Trine men′s track and field athlete senior Dustin Stutzman was named the MIAA Field Athlete of the Week on April 8. Stutzman won the shot put at the Anderson Raven Invitational with a throw of 52 feet, 7 1/4 inches. He also finished fifth in the hammer throw with a distance of 145 feet, 1 inch.

Basketball standout

Men’s basketball senior Ian Jackson wrapped up his collegiate career by earned three All–American honors along with two All–Region honors and was also selected to participate in the NABC 2013 Reese’s Division III College All–Star game.

Jackson was named to the 2013 NABC Coaches’ Division III All–America Third Team, the 2013 DIII NewsAll–American Fourth Team and the 2013 All–American Honorable Mention team. He was also named to the All–Great Lakes Region First Team and the NABC Great Lakes All–District First team.

Wrestling recap

For the first time in school history, the Trine wrestling team sent three wrestlers to the NCAA Division III Wrestling Championships which took place March 15–16 in Iowa.

For the third consecutive year, Eli Larson earned All–American honors with an eighth–place finish by winning two matches. Two other wrestlers in Brandon Preston and Ryan Pieper also competed at nationals. It was the second trip for Ryan and the first for Brandon, who won his first match of the tournament.

It was also announced during the tournament that Larson and Pieper were named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association Scholar All–American team.

You can read the full tournament recap here.

Indoor track and field recap

Sophomore Tyler Bourdo became the first Trine University track and field athlete to ever qualify for the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships on March 8 and 9. Tyler qualified fifth for nationals in the 400m after running a top–13 time during the indoor season.