This might be the greatest hidden ball trick ever.
The Trine University softball team executed it to perfection to win the Super Regional Championship and advance to the Division III Women’s College World Series.
Let’s set the stage.
The small school in Angola, Indiana, was hosting the State University of New York at Geneseo on Saturday. Trine was leading 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh, but the Knights were threatening. They had runners at first and second with two outs.
Trine’s Kate Saupe pitched to the next batter. After the throwback from the catcher, Saupe appeared to turn and fire to second to try and pick off the runner on second.
Only she didn’t throw it.
Saupe motioned like she had thrown the ball, then jumped up and down as though it had sailed past the shortstop into the outfield. But she still had the ball in her glove, unknown to the runner, who started heading for third.
The Thunder’s shortstop, second baseman and centerfielder all deserve credit for selling it. The shortstop dived in an attempt to catch the phantom ball, while the second baseman ran to the outfield to retrieve it.
Meanwhile, Saupe was yelling and jumping for her teammates to get the ball as she moved closer and closer to the runner — and then she went into a full sprint to tag her out and end the game.
Elated Trine players and coaches stormed onto the field to mob her and celebrate their Super Regional title.
“It was celebration,” Saupe told KPC News in Kendallville, Indiana. “I just knew we had them.”
It was not only perfectly executed, but talk about clutch. Trine coach Donnie Danklefsen picked the perfect time to call the low-risk, high-reward play.
“That’s a play that Coach (Dennis) Smith brought here with him,” Danklefsen told KPC News. “Most runners will look back a couple times before deciding to take off. Once she looked back that second time, we knew it was in the bag.
“You just had to cause a big enough scene.”
The Thunder advanced to the Women’s College World Series, which begins Thursday at the University of Texas, Tyler.
Texas Bound! https://t.co/lBe064jIsf
— Don Danklefsen (@coachdtusb) May 20, 2019
Wonder what tricks they’ll have up their sleeves when they get there.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.