Feb. 7, 2015
The No. 21/22 Irish (3-1) defeated Northwestern State 8-5 in the first contest before dropping a heartbreaking 8-7 decision to host Cal State Fullerton in the nightcap. Notre Dame totaled 15 runs and 20 hits on the offensive side for the day, including five extra base hits over both games.
Senior third baseman Katey Haus led all Notre Dame hitters with a 5-for-7 (.714) output at the plate, crushing a grand slam and adding a double and six RBI. Sophomore Carly Piccinich added a 3-for-3 effort during the first game against Northwestern State.
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Game One – No. 21/22 Notre Dame 8, Northwestern State 5
Northwestern State (0-3) shook off a leadoff strikeout in the top of the first inning, with Micayla Soroiak lining a double off the left field wall and Brittany Virgoe adding a single to give the Demons runners on the corners with one away. Junior Allie Rhodes was up to the task, striking Brittney Jones out swinging and forcing Natalie Landry to fly out to sophomore Karley Wester in left field to end the inning.
Wester led off the bottom of the first with a high slap toward the left side of the infield, advancing to second base on a throwing error from Northwestern State shortstop Hailee Rhodes. Senior Jenna Simon pushed Wester to third base with a slap single of her own, stealing second base to give Notre Dame a pair of runners in scoring position. Senior Cassidy Whidden drew a full-count walk with two outs, loading the bases against Demon starter Shelby Sells (0-1). With the bags full, senior Katey Haus clubbed a no doubt grand slam over the left field fence to clear the bases and put Notre Dame in front 4-0.
A lone walk was the only damage against Rhodes in the top of the second inning. The Irish southpaw struck out Micaela Bouvier swinging before punching out Sarah Huey looking on a 1-2 count two batters later to shut the Northwestern State offense down.
Freshman Sara White (1-0) entered in relief for her first career appearance in the circle to open the top of the third inning, allowing one hit but striking out a pair of Northwestern State batters. A 2-2 swinging strikeout of Jones ended the Demon ups in the top half of the frame.
Northwestern State picked up its first run of the game to lead off the top of the fourth inning, as Landry sent a no doubt shot over the wall in right center field for a solo home run that cut the Notre Dame lead to 4-1. After allowing a single to Kaytie Proctor, White escaped the jam with three straight outs, grounding Huey out to first base to retire the Demon side.
The Irish added a pair of insurance runs off Northwestern State’s Sells in the bottom of the fourth. Wester was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded after Notre Dame opened the frame with three singles, pushing Haus across to make it 5-1 Irish. A sacrifice fly off the bat of Simon allowed freshman Morgan Reed to score from third base to extend the Notre Dame cushion to 6-1.
Northwestern State added one run in the top of the fifth, as Sorosiak laced an RBI double to right center field that brought the Demons within four at 6-2. Freshman Katie Beriont entered in relief and shut the Demons down the remainder of the frame, striking out Jones and Landry consecutively to stall the Northwestern State offense.
Notre Dame answered with two additional runs in the bottom half of the fifth inning to further extend the advantage. RBI singles from Haus and Reed extended the Irish edge to 8-2 after five full.
Northwestern State added three runs of its own in the top of the sixth inning to keep it interesting, punctuated by a two-run double by Sorosiak that closed the gap to 8-5 in favor of Notre Dame. Beriont jammed Virgoe one batter later, forcing the third and final out.
Game Two – Cal State Fullerton 8, No. 21/22 Notre Dame 7
Trailing by one run entering the bottom of the seventh inning, Cal State Fullerton (3-0) utilized an RBI base hit from Shianne Brannan off Allie Rhodes (1-1) to tie the game at 7-7. After the Titans loaded the bases with one out, Gabrielle Rodas drew a full count walk to push across the winning run.
Notre Dame utilized three straight singles from senior Jenna Simon and senior two-time All-America Emilee Koerner to ramp up the offense against Cal State Fullerton starter Christina Washington in the top of the first. After a Washington wild pitch, an RBI base hit into right field off the bat of junior All-American Micaela Arizmendi scored Simon from third base, giving Notre Dame a 1-0 lead. Senior Cassidy Whidden followed with a sacrifice fly to right field, plating Koerner for the second Irish run of the inning (2-0).
Cal State Fullerton wasted little time in igniting the offense. Leadoff hitter Missy Taukeiaho crushed the second pitch she saw from sophomore Rachel Nasland deep and gone over the wall in right center, bringing the Titans within one run at 2-1. Nasland surrendered a double later in the inning to Kylie Padilla, but a fly out to left by Samantha Galarza stranded the Cal State Fullerton runner on base.
Taukeiaho blasted her second solo shot of the game in the bottom of the third inning, tying the game at 2-2. Stellar defense followed for the Irish, as Whidden threw out Courtney Rodriguez trying to steal second base. Senior Katey Haus then nearly climbed the fence in front of the Titan dugout one batter later to make a tremendous catch. Nasland induced a pop fly to Arizmendi at first base to close the third.
Facing two outs in the top of the fourth inning, junior Megan Sorlie lofted a deep but playable fly ball out to right field. Cal State Fullerton right fielder Sarah Moore misplayed the ball in the air and dropped what would have been the third out, allowing Sorlie to cruise into second base. Classmate Casey Africano made the misstep count, as the Irish designated player laced an RBI single into left field off Washington to score Sorlie and give Notre Dame the lead back at 3-2.
Cal State Fullerton claimed its first lead of the day in the bottom of the fourth, when Moore redeemed her error with a deep two-out home run over the right field wall that gave the Titans a 4-3 lead. Nasland grounded Paige Kisling out to second base one hitter later for the third and final out.
Koerner saw just two pitches from Washington with two outs in the top of the fifth inning before depositing her own solo home run over the right field wall, tying the score at 4-4.
Cal State Fullerton retook the lead in the bottom half of the fifth, with a single through the left side by Eliza Crawford scoring Taukeiaho to put the Titans back in front 5-4. Rhodes entered in relief of Nasland and struck out Padilla swinging for the first out of the frame. One batter later, Simon made a great play on a shallow pop up to right field, wheeling around and gunning down a tagging Courtney Rodriguez at the plate for a huge inning-ending double play.
Whidden ripped a double on a 1-1 count from Washington to begin the top of the sixth inning. Haus followed with an RBI two-bagger of her own three pitches later, plating Whidden from third to tie the game at 5-5 and chase Washington from the circle. Three straight walks drawn by Sorlie, Africano and freshman Morgan Reed gave Notre Dame a 6-5 advantage.
The Titans kept clawing back, tying the game on an infield single with two outs in the bottom of the sixth off Rhodes to square the game at 6-6. Crawford looked to lace a go-ahead RBI base hit to left, but sophomore All-American Karley Wester laid out full extension to rob not only the hit but the Cal State Fullerton bid for the lead.
The tie score would not last long. Facing two outs with the bases empty, Whidden uncorked a solo home run into left field that gave Notre Dame the lead back at 7-6.