March 4, 2018
by Tony Jones
KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The University of Notre Dame softball team capped a perfect 5-0 sweep at the Diamond 9 Citrus Classic with an emphatic final game performance. Four RBI from Cait Brooks and a combined three-hitter in the circle was the difference in a 10-0 Irish victory in five innings over Robert Morris on Sunday at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
No. RV Notre Dame (12-7) outscored the opposition 43-12 during the weekend, batting .412 with 56 hits as a club. Six Notre Dame hitters finished the tournament batting .400 or above, with Ali Wester leading all players with 10 hits and seven runs scored. Cait Brooks and Morgan Reed tied for the team lead with six RBI each.
The Irish pitching staff posted a combined 1.93 ERA in 29 innings, limiting opponents to just 18 hits. Opposing hitters batted .175 for the duration of the tournament.
How It Happened
Notre Dame got started quickly on the offensive side of the ball in the top of the first. Ali Wester led off with a single up the middle, and Abby Sweet was hit by a pitch as the next batter. Cait Brooks ripped an RBI single into center field with one out to score Wester, and Sweet proceeded to score on a Robert Morris throwing error to make it 2-0 Irish. Katie Marino brought Brooks home with an RBI groundout to shortstop to extend the lead to 3-0.
Robert Morris managed a one-out single and added a hit by pitch in the bottom of the first inning, but the Irish defense responded with a pop out to second base and a ground ball out over to shortstop to end the Colonial surge.
The Irish continued to pour the pressure on in the top of the second frame. Sweet drove an RBI single into left field that scored Alexis Bazos to make it 4-0 Notre Dame. Later in the inning with the bags full and two outs, Brooks clubbed a double off the wall in right to score Wester, Sweet and Morgan Reed for the 7-0 Irish advantage.
It was more of the same for the Notre Dame offense in the top of the third. Sara White drilled a 3-1 pitch deep and gone to left field for a mammoth home run. White’s second home run of the season vaulted the Irish in front 9-0.
Alexis Holloway (9-4) kept Robert Morris off the scoreboard with a three-up, three-down bottom of the third inning. A strikeout looking and a pair of ground ball outs stifled the Colonial order.
The Irish added an additional insurance run in the top of the fourth inning. With the bases loaded, Sarah Genz picked up an RBI by working a walk to bring Brooks in from third base. The walk pushed Notre Dame in front 10-0.
Katie Beriont threw a scoreless final two innings of relief to aid the Notre Dame cause. A three-up, three-down effort in the fifth inning gave the Irish the victory.
The Irish open conference play next weekend at NC State, playing three games at Dail Softball Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina.
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, men’s soccer and swimming and diving 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.