CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. — RV Notre Dame again split games down the middle on the second day of competition at the Mary Nutter Classic, topping Seattle 6-4 before suffering a loss to No. 15 Oregon, 1-5.
Alexis Holloway (6-3) was the noted pitcher in both contests, notching the win in the matchup with Seattle and the loss vs. Oregon, despite firing nine strikeouts in five innings against Oregon. Freshman Leea Hanks hit the first home run of her career vs. Oregon, while senior Katie Marino posted her fourth home run of the season vs. Seattle, also her third first-inning leadoff homer of the season
HOW IT HAPPENED – KEY INNINGS
Game Three vs. Seattle
Payton Tidd started on the mound for Notre Dame, and the Irish defense made quick work of Seattle’s batters, retiring three of the first four to strand one on base.
On the first Irish at-bat, Katie Marino homered to put the Irish on the board, marking the third time this season Marino has led off the first inning with a ball outside the yard. Abby Sweet singled and stole second, and after a Hanks flyout, Joley Mitchell singled to score Sweet. The inning ended with the Irish up 2-0. ‘
After two Tidd strikeouts and two Seattle singles, Hanks made the final out with a spectacular diving catch in shallow left-center to strand two on base, keeping Seattle scoreless.
Sweet, up first for the Irish, hit a double, advancing to third on a Seattle error. Hanks popped up to score Sweet, and two more outs ended the inning at 3-0.
After a Seattle solo home run to lead off the inning, a series of errors allowed runners on first and third. After a single to score one run, Morgan Ryan entered in relief of Tidd. Two fielder’s choice plays resulted in two more outs for Notre Dame, but Seattle managed to steal home on an attempted putout at second on another runner stealing before the top ended, resulting in a 3-3 score.
Notre Dame answered quickly, as Emma Clark singled, and Holloway entered the game in place of Ryan. On Holloway’s groundout, Clark advanced to second, stealing third on Marino’s at-bat. Marino grounded out, scoring Clark to put the Irish up 4-3 at the end of the inning.
Sweet led off the fifth with a double. After two outs, Miranda Johnson singled to score Sweet. Sarah Genz entered the game and singled to advance Johnson to third, but both were left on base with a 5-3 score.
After a Holloway walk and strikeout, Seattle singled, another runner then reaching on an error to load the bases. One run scored due to a sacrifice fly, but Hanks snagged the final out to limit the damage at 5-4.
In the bottom of the sixth, Marino walked, stealing second on Brooke Marquez’s at-bat. Marquez singled to advance Marino to third, and Sweet forced Seattle into a fielder’s choice to score Marino, with Marquez out at second. The inning ended at 6-4.
Holloway notched the win in the game, pitching the final three innings and giving up just one earned run, striking out two. Sweet was Notre Dame’s most productive player on offense, notching three hits and three runs with one RBI.
Game Four vs. No. 15/17 Oregon
Holloway took the mound for Notre Dame to start the second contest of the day, quickly notching five strikeouts through the first three innings. Both teams held each other scoreless through the end of the third.
Oregon led off with a double in the fourth, advancing to third on an error. With an immediately-following single, Oregon scored the first run of the day. Advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt, Oregon’s Ariel Carlson ran to third on a wild pitch. With Notre Dame then faced with a fielder’s choice, the Ducks scored again, but were limited to just the two runs thanks to two more Holloway strikeouts.
In the bottom of the inning with two outs, Hanks sent her first collegiate home run outside the walls to put the Irish on the board, 1-2.
With two outs and bases loaded (due to walks and an Irish error), Holloway came in clutch for Notre Dame, striking out her ninth batter to end the inning with no runs scored.
Notre Dame suffered two more errors in the sixth, putting runners on first and third. Mitchell entered the game at third, while Chelsea Purcell moved to shortstop. Oregon’s Haley Cruse sent a triple to score two runs, and Cruse scored on a groundout immediately following. Marino fielded the last groundout to end the inning at 1-5.
Tidd entered the game in the seventh, but the Irish were unable to make up more runs, falling 1-5 to the No. 15/17 Ducks. Despite Holloway’s nine strikeouts on the game, she took the loss to stand at 6-3.
The final day of competition for the Irish at the Mary Nutter Classic kicks off at 5 p.m. PT (8 p.m. ET) when Notre Dame takes on No. 16 Arizona State, continuing at 7:30 p.m. PT (10:30 p.m. ET) when the Irish face RV Cal State Fullerton.
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