May 8, 2014
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – A masterful pitching performance from senior pitcher Laura Winter anchored the day, and a three-run game-winning home run by sophomore infielder Micaela Arizmendi proved to be the difference for the University of Notre Dame softball team in the first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) tournament game in program history. The Irish scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to break a 0-0 tie, defeating Boston College by a final score of 3-0 on Thursday in the quarterfinal round of the ACC Championship at the Maryland Softball Stadium.
No. 20 Notre Dame (38-10) equaled its season-high winning streak of eight games with the triumph over the Eagles (30-23), downing Boston College for the fourth consecutive game, following a sweep in the final ACC series of the regular season last weekend at Melissa Cook Stadium. The Irish will face Virginia Tech in the second ACC Championship semifinal on Friday at 3:30 p.m. (ET), with coverage on the Regional Sports Network (RSN) and ESPN3.
Winter (26-4) retired the final 14 Boston College batters she faced, tossing a complete game two-hitter with no walks allowed. The first team all-ACC performer struck out nine Eagle hitters on the day, and did not allow a base runner past second base. The shutout was the eighth of the season for the San Diego, Calif. native, a new career-high, extending her program record in career wins to 109 over her four seasons in an Irish uniform.
Junior All-American Emilee Koerner connected for her national-leading 23rd double of the season in the bottom of the first inning, extending her single-season Notre Dame record. The two-bagger was also the 56th of Koerner’s career, vaulting the Tustin, Calif. native into first place on the Irish career doubles list.
Arizmendi, who was also selected to the all-ACC first team earlier in the day, turned on a two-out, 1-1 pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning, blasting it over the right field wall for the only runs of the ballgame. Arizmendi extended her team lead in home runs to 15 and RBI to 58 in 2014 with the game-winning blast.
Boston College leadoff hitter Megan Cooley reached with a seeing-eye single up the middle to open the top of the first inning, and a successful sacrifice bunt from Tatiana Cortez moved Cooley into scoring position at second base. Winter responded with a strikeout of Jessie Daulton, and forced Tory Speer to ground out to senior captain Chloe Saganowich at shortstop to end the threat.
Koerner grooved a two-out double into the gap in left center field, prolonging the Notre Dame bottom of the first inning against starter Jordan Weed (11-9), officially breaking the all-time Irish program record. Weed retired junior Katey Haus on a ground out back to the circle to halt the frame.
Winter logged a third straight scoreless inning in the top of the third, closing the inning by popping Daulton out to shortstop for the third and final out of the inning. It was more of the same for the Notre Dame hurler in the top of the fourth, as Weed struck out looking on a 2-2 offering to complete the three-up, three-down half.
Notre Dame retired 11 straight batters through the top of the sixth inning, as Winter struck out Cortez looking and Daulton swinging for her ninth punch-out of the game.
Freshman Karley Wester started an Irish offensive surge in the bottom of the sixth inning, lacing a leadoff single into left field off Weed. A fielder’s choice and a misstep on the base paths quickly retired the next two Notre Dame hitters. A two-out double down the line from Haus allowed Koerner, who reached one batter earlier with a walk, to advance to third base, where Arizmendi crushed a three-run home run over the right field wall, vaulting the Irish in front 3-0.
Winter completed her first career ACC Championship win in the top of the seventh, grounding Speer and Alana DiMaso both out to Saganowich at shortstop, before inducing a Weed fly out to Koerner in center field for the game’s final out.