ANGOLA, Ind. -- Trine's Carly Searles became the all-time NCAA Division III leader in career hits as the Thunder captured its third consecutive MIAA Tournament title Friday afternoon.
Searles entered the championship game needing two hits to become the all-time hit champion in the history of Division III. The senior led off the game with a home run to tie the all-time mark. She became the new hits leader with a single through the middle with one out in the fifth inning. Searles passed previous record-holder Michelle Carlson of TCNJ, who accumulated 299 hits in a career that spanned the 1991-92 and 1994-95 seasons. Searles now has 300 hits and counting in her career.
Earlier this season, Searles became the all-time leader in triples in NCAA Division III history. Searles has notched 48 career triples and is threatening the all-time NCAA mark for all divisions. South Carolina's Tricia Popowski holds the all-time record of 51, set between 1988-91.
Searles also entered the NCAA record books earlier this year with a streak of 16 hits in 16-consecutive at-bats. The streak fell just one short of the NCAA record and is the second-longest such streak in collegiate softball history. The feat earned Searles recognition as the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III National Hitter of the Week.
The two-time All-American won her second-career MIAA batting title, leading the conference with a .608 batting average in conference play. Searles is the conference's all-time leader in career hits, batting average and triples in league play. She is also Trine's all-time leader in batting average, on-base percentage, runs scored, RBI and stolen bases.
As of the last NCAA statistics report released April 30, Searles led the nation in runs per game and ranked second in triples, fifth in batting average, seventh in on-base percentage, eighth in slugging percentage and 13th in stolen bases.
Following the conclusion of the MIAA Tournament, Searles is batting .526 with a .596 on-base percentage and .927 slugging percentage. She has totaled nine home runs, 36 RBIs, 10 triples, 30 stolen bases and 72 runs scored.
Trine won its fourth-consecutive MIAA regular-season title and third-straight MIAA Tournament title. Trine has a 37-3 overall record entering the NCAA Regionals and is ranked fifth in the nation by the NFCA.