NORMAN, Oklahoma — The Notre Dame softball team stayed alive at the NCAA tournament thanks to a complete game shutout by Alexis Holloway. The Irish used a pair of runs to back Holloway and defeat UMBC, 2-0, advancing to the night elimination game against Wisconsin.
Holloway went the distance, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out eight. She retired the last 15 Retrievers she faced.
Ali Wester was 3-for-5 with an RBI to pace the Irish offense, while Emma Clark was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Abby Sweet reached three times and scored while MK Bonamy had the other RBI for Notre Dame.
Top 1st | The Irish loaded the bases on a Wester single, Sweet hit-by-pitch and Brooks walk, but a lineout by Rochford, fielder’s choice groundout by Marino and strikeout by Bonamy kept the game scoreless.
Bottom 2nd | UMBC threatened after an error and single put the first two runners on. Holloway responded with a strikeout of Imani Dawson and Heide threw behind pinch runner Noelani Herrera for a double play. Holloway induced a groundout from Chloe Obispo to end the inning and keep the game scoreless.
Top 3rd | The Irish struck first in the third. After Wester was retired for the first time in the Regional on a groundout, Sweet was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game. Brooks was walked on four pitches before Rochford flew out to center, advancing the runners to second and third. Marino walked on four pitches before Bonamy walked on five pitches to plate Sweet. Holloway then fouled out to the catcher, but she would take the circle in the bottom half with a 1-0 lead.
Top 4th | Notre Dame doubled the lead in the fourth. Clark got a hustle double to shallow right-center before Wester singled up the middle to score Clark. Groundouts by Sweet and Rochford were sandwiched around Brooks’ second four-pitch walk of the day to end the inning.
»Wester hit safely in her first five at-bats of the Norman Regional before she was retired in her second at-bat of the game.
»Brooks walked four times, seeing 16 balls and one strike (on 3-0 in the fourth walk).
»Sweet extended her on-base streak to 23 games when she was hit by a pitch in the first inning. She hit twice more in the game, giving her a team-leading 22 on the year.
»It was the first-ever meeting between Notre Dame and UMBC on the softball diamond.
The Irish advance to face Wisconsin in another elimination game tonight at the Norman Regional (9:50 p.m. ET). The winner will move on to face No. 1 Oklahoma on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.