Hoffman's Two Home Runs Leads WU Past Trine, 7-5
Greencastle, Ind., May 15, 2010 – Senior Caitlyn Hoffman went 2-for-3 with two home runs and four RBIs to lead the No. 17 ranked Washington University in St. Louis softball team to a 7-5 victory over Trine University in the Bears’ third-straight elimination game at the 2010 NCAA Division III Central Regional held at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind.
Hoffman, who had three home runs in her first 113 at-bats this season, hit a solo home run in the fifth inning and a three-run shot in the sixth off Trine relief pitcher Rachel Wisman. Hoffman saw two pitches total from Wisman in the two at-bats.
"We are playing with more fire now and have come together and everything is clicking," Hoffman said following the victory. "We are getting hits at the right time, and that is the key to our success right now."
Junior Claire Voris (21-6) picked up the victory on the mound, tossing 5 1/3 innings allowing six hits and two earned runs. Voris pitched the first five innings before giving way to sophomore Olivia Cook, who allowed three hits and three earned in 1 2/3 innings pitched. Voris came in relief of Cook for the final out to seal the victory. Voris also had a good day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored.
The Bears had eight hits in the victory, but committed three errors on the defensive side. Trine had nine hits in the loss, and ends its season with a 28-15 overall record. Washington U. advances to the loser’s bracket final for the second-straight year to take on No. 5 ranked Ohio Northern University on Sunday, May 16, at Noon (ET). A win against Ohio Northern would put Washington U. in the Regional Championship game for the just the second time in school history.
"It was nice to see different people step up today that have done it all year in batting practice," said fifth-year head coach Leticia Pineda-Boutté. "Coming back on a team that quickly changes the momentum and allows us to compete and solidify the win."
A two-run home run by Voris in the second inning gave the Bears an early 2-0 lead, but Trine’s Sarah Belote answered back with a two-run shot of her own to knot the score at 2-2.
Back-to-back home runs by senior Ashton Hitchcock and Hoffman to lead off the fourth inning pushed Washington U.’s lead to 4-2. The home run for Hitchcock was the 19th of her career, moving her into sole possession of third place on the all-time WU list. The Bears added three more runs in the bottom of the sixth on a three-run home run by Hoffman with two outs.
"I was just trying to be aggressive on the first home run, and coming off Ashton’s home run in the fifth, I wanted to put a good swing on a pitch," said Hoffman. "I knew she (Wisman) was throwing good pitches early in the count, so I just wanted to get a good cut on the second home run."
Andi Gasco trimmed the advantage to 7-5 with a three-run home run off Cook with one out in the seventh to keep the Thunder’s hope alive. Cassie Byrd singled and then Lindsay Wise reached on an error by senior Megan Fieser to put runners on first and second with two outs. Voris replaced Cook on the mound and she got Wisman to fly out to Hitchcock to end the game.
Bear Notebook: Washington University is 21-17 all-time in NCAA Tournament play … The Bears defeated Trine (formerly Tri-State) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on May 8, 2008, in Rock Island, Ill … All 12 runs scored in the contest were via the home run … Hoffman increased her career home run total to 10, eighth most in school history … The 37 wins in a season are the second most in school history, and tied for the most under Boutté.