Feb. 12, 2017
by Tony Jones
LOS ANGELES — On the strength of a four-run fourth inning, No. 8 UCLA proved to be too formidable a hurdle for the University of Notre Dame softball team on Sunday. The Bruins tacked on a pair of runs in the final frame to defeat the Irish 8-0 in five innings at Easton Stadium as part of the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament.
How It Happened
UCLA (5-0) battled for the first run of the ballgame with two away in the bottom of the first inning, with an RBI single closing out three straight hits for the 1-0 Bruins lead. Notre Dame starter Rachel Nasland worked out of the potential jam by forcing a swinging strikeout for the final out.
Nasland battled out of two runners in scoring position to stall the UCLA offense in the bottom of the second. A groundout to second base and a flyout to left field kept the Bruin runners aboard.
Notre Dame (3-2) broke through for its first hits of the day against UCLA starter Rachel Garcia in the top of the fourth. Ali Wester ripped a sharp single through the left side, and Morgan Reed followed with a single of her own to the 5-6 hole to put two on with one out. The Bruins stalled the Irish momentum with a strikeout and flyout to right field to end the Notre Dame ups.
UCLA ultimately tallied six runs over the final two innings to claim the win. A game-ending triple from Delaney Spaulding scored Stevie Wisz and Zoe Shaw for the final 8-0 margin of victory.
UCLA snapped a two-game losing streak against Notre Dame with the win, which included an 8-4 Irish victory over the Bruins at Easton Stadium on Feb. 6, 2015 … Morgan Reed closed the opening Notre Dame weekend a combined 9-for-14 (.643) at the plate with three RBI. Ali Wester added six hits and four runs scored for the Irish over the first five games … Notre Dame posted a .500 or better record in the year’s opening tournament for the fifth consecutive season.
The Irish head to the ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Raleigh, North Carolina from Feb. 17-19. Notre Dame will face Minnesota and Michigan from the Big Ten as part of the event.
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.
Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball and men’s soccer programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana Monroe and with the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills.