Feb. 19, 2015
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – A strong offensive performance that included a season-high 13 hits and eight runs powered the University of Notre Dame softball team to an 8-6 victory over Maryland in its final game of day one on Thursday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic at the Big League Dreams Sports Complex. The No. 23/24 Irish previously fell by an 8-4 final against No. 13/10 Tennessee in the day’s first contest.
Notre Dame (6-5) outhit both of its opponents by a combined 21-15 clip on the day, with all nine starters logging at least one hit for the first time this season in the win over Maryland. Pacing the Irish attack was a brilliant 5-for-6 (.833) performance from sophomore All-American Karley Wester. Wester also drew a pair of walks to reach base at a .875 clip, contributing two stolen bases and four of Notre Dame’s 12 total runs.
Junior All-American Micaela Arizmendi paced all Notre Dame hitters with three RBI on the day, while senior Cassidy Whidden added a double and two runs batted in. Classmate Katey Haus and freshman Morgan Reed also contributed a pair of RBI to the Irish cause.
Sophomore pitcher Rachel Nasland (1-2) established a new career-high with 10 strikeouts over five innings against Tennessee (10-0), allowing four hits and one walk. Nasland added 0.2 of an inning of relief to close out the victory in the nightcap against Maryland.
Junior Allie Rhodes (3-2) earned the win in the circle against Maryland (6-5), allowing two earned runs over five full innings in the circle. Rhodes issued four walks and struck out five Terrapin hitters in the Notre Dame triumph.
The Irish return to the diamond for a single game on Friday against UNLV at 1 p.m. (PT) at PGF Yankee Field. Live stats from the game will be available through CBS Gametracker at UND.com.
For the latest news and updates on all things Notre Dame softball, visit www.und.com/softball, follow the Irish @NDsoftball and @NDcoachGumpf on Twitter and at Instagram.com/notredamesoftball, and Like the team at Facebook.com/NDSoftball.
Game 2 – No. 23/24 Notre Dame 8, Maryland 6
A walk and a hit batter put a pair of Maryland runners on base in the top of the first inning. Mandy Gardner delivered with a two-run single to left field, plating both Erin Pronobis and Hannah Dewey to give the Terrapins a quick 2-0 lead. Notre Dame starter Allie Rhodes picked up a swinging strikeout of Julie Strange with two outs to strand Gardiner on base.
Notre Dame came out firing in the bottom of the first against Maryland starter Kaitlyn Schmeiser (4-4). An infield single and a stolen base from sophomore All-American Karley Wester gave the Irish their first runner in scoring position. Senior co-captain Jenna Simon reached on an infield single, and a throwing error on Maryland shortstop Lindsey Schmeiser brought Wester in from second base, driving Notre Dame within one at 2-1. A bunt single from senior co-captain and two-time All-American Emilee Koerner and an RBI base knock to center by senior Cassidy Whidden tied the game at 2-2.
Later in the frame, a bunt single from senior Katey Haus set the stage for junior All-American Micaela Arizmendi, who laced an RBI base hit into center to plate Koerner and give the Irish a 3-2 advantage. Freshman Morgan Reed capped the scoring surge with a two-run single to left, scoring Haus and Arizmendi to extend the Notre Dame lead to 5-2.
Simon reached for the second straight plate appearance on a Lindsey Schmeiser throwing error in the bottom of the second, cruising into second base on the Maryland miscue. After Simon stole third base cleanly, a Schmeiser error on a hard-hit ball from Whidden to short prolonged the inning and allowed Simon to cross, vaulting Notre Dame in front 6-2.
Dewey managed a two-out single off Rhodes in the top of the third inning, but the Notre Dame southpaw answered by forcing Corey Schwartz to rocket a hard line drive to center that Koerner corralled on the run for Maryland’s third and final out.
A missed infield fly ball by the Irish defense in the Maryland half of the fifth inning came back to haunt Notre Dame later in the frame. With two on and two outs, Gardner clubbed a three-run home run over the wall in right field, bringing the Terrapins within one run at 6-5. Rhodes immediately responded with a swinging strikeout of Strange to halt the Maryland offensive.
A Reed walk and Wester single chased Kaitlyn Schmeiser from the circle in the bottom of the sixth inning. Simon legged out an infield single off the relief pitcher Dewey to load the bags with nobody out. Dewey forced two straight Notre Dame outs before Haus laced a two-run single down the right field line, scoring Reed and Wester to up the Irish lead to 8-5.
Game 1 – No. 13/10 Tennessee 8, No. 23/24 Notre Dame 4
Sophomore Rachel Nasland (1-2) cruised through the top of the first inning, fouling out Rainey Gaffin to freshman Morgan Reed at shortstop before striking out Shaliylah Geathers and 2014 NFCA Division I National Co-Freshman of the Year Annie Aldrete swinging to end the Tennessee opening frame.
Walks drawn by sophomore All-American Karley Wester and senior co-captain Jenna Simon opened the Notre Dame bottom of the first against Tennessee starter Gretchen Aucoin. An infield single by senior co-captain and two-time All-American Emilee Koerner loaded the bases for junior All-American Micaela Arizmendi. Arizmendi laced a single into center field, scoring Wester to give the Irish a 1-0 lead.
A hit batter and a walk was the only damage yielded by Nasland in the top of the second inning. Strikeouts by Scarlet McSwain, Taylor Koenig and Lexi Overstreet stranded two Tennessee runners on base.
The Volunteers broke through in the top of the fourth inning, as Megan Greer clubbed a solo home run deep and gone over the left field wall, squaring the score at 1-1. Overstreet followed with a two-out triple, but Nasland escaped further damage.
Tennessee cranked up the offense in the top of the fifth, as an RBI triple from Geathers and a two-run blast from Koenig increased the Volunteer lead to 4-1.
The top half of the sixth inning was the breakout frame for Tennessee. Koenig delivered a two-run single, plating the final two Tennessee runs of the contest to extend its cushion to 8-1. A great defensive relay put out McSwain at third base to end the inning.
Notre Dame added a run to its offensive cause in the bottom of the sixth frame. Whidden was hit by a pitch from Gaffin (2-0), and advanced to second base following a Gaffin wild pitch. Senior Katey Haus singled up the middle to slide Whidden over to third base, where an RBI groundout from junior Casey Africano made it 8-2 Tennessee.
A Wester infield single kick started the Notre Dame ups in the bottom of the seventh. Koerner followed with a single through the right side, and both Irish runners advanced into scoring position on the throw. Arizmendi smashed a hot shot to shortstop, and an error by Greer allowed Wester go score and Notre Dame to claw within five runs at 8-3. An infield single by Whidden plated Koerner from third, notching the fourth Irish run of the day (8-4).