It was only a matter of time before the Trinity softball team would finally win a game at OPRF High School.
The Blazers (7-3, 1-0) defeated OPRF 7-0 on Wednesday, marking the first time in head coach Bob Osborne's 15 years with the program that his Blazers came out of Oak Park with a win.
With a 4-0 lead going into the seventh inning, junior shortstop Abby Ramirez led Trinity off with a single and advanced to third on a double by junior outfielder Ashley Klauss. Junior outfielder Nicole Evans knocked Ramirez in as she reached on a fielder's choice to throw Klauss out at third base. Junior pitcher Chase Machain followed with a two-run homer to centerfield to give the Blazers a lofty 7-0 lead.
"We're a very good hitting team," said Osborne. "Chase, Nicole, and Abby are as good as hitters that you'll see in the state. They're going to get their swings. Our offense is explosive; you need to score four or five runs to beat us."
Machain ended up 3-for-3 with three RBIs, and was a triple shy of the cycle. She also had a brilliant performance in her seven innings on the mound, only allowing one hit — a leadoff single in the third inning by OPRF's Caroline Kelty — while striking out five and walking one.
"Warming up today, I felt like my pitches were working," Machain said. "I just felt good today. This was a big game for us, two really good teams coming together. Going on the mound, I just felt it. It was a really good day."
Ramirez went 2-for-4 with a home run for the Blazers, while Klauss finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
The Huskies (8-3) have faced Machain three times now, and head coach Mel Kolbusz knows that his team doesn't match up well.
"She mixes her pitches up really well," he said. "We're not an overpowering offensive team, but we usually get four or five runs a game; and today we just didn't."
The Huskies looked as if they were going to get some offense going in the sixth inning, as junior infielder Mariah Wienand reached on an error with two outs and sophomore pitcher Emma Baldwin drew a walk. But a fly out to right field by catcher Dana Alcock ended the Huskies' threat.
Baldwin yielded seven runs on 11 hits in seven innings. She struck out five and walked one. After giving up two homeruns in the third inning — a one-out solo by Ramirez and a two-out solo shot by Evans — Baldwin kept her composure and retired seven out of the next eight batters.
"She didn't let it affect her," Kolbusz said. "She just kept working out there. She could have said 'poor me' and hung her head down, but she didn't. That's a really good attribute for a pitcher to have."
The Blazers did not commit any errors, and Machain was proud of the team behind her as they helped her earn the shutout.
"Going in and knowing you have the defense behind you and having the hitting to back it up no matter what is a weight off of my shoulders," she said. "It's awesome."
Answer Book 2017
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