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Irish In Louisville For ACC Showdown

March 15, 2018

by Tony Jones

ND Notes Get Acrobat Reader

Notre Dame at Louisville
March 16-18, 2018
Ulmer Stadium
Louisville, Kentucky

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(16-8, 1-1 ACC in 2018)

Louisville Cardinals
(20-5 in 2018)

Notre Dame Weekend Schedule

Friday, March 16
Notre Dame at Louisville – 2 p.m. (ET)

Saturday, March 17
Notre Dame at Louisville – 1 p.m. (ET)

Sunday, March 18
Notre Dame at Louisville – Noon (ET)

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A week-plus trip away from home finally concludes for the University of Notre Dame softball team this weekend. The Irish take on Louisville in a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) series at Ulmer Stadium.

Notre Dame (16-8, 1-1 ACC) has won 10 of its last 11 games overall, and recently split its opening ACC series of the year at NC State last weekend. The Irish won two of three games last April to down Louisville (20-5) at Ulmer Stadium.

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Irish Drop Jacksonville

A sixth-inning RBI single by MK Bonamy pushed Notre Dame back in front, and an insurance RBI single in the seventh by Ali Wester provided the winning margin in a 3-1 Irish victory over Jacksonville on Wednesday at the Pruitt Softball Complex.

Notre Dame claimed all three games during its Florida swing on spring break after sweeping a doubleheader at North Florida on Tuesday. The Irish have now won 34 straight nonconference, non-tournament midweek games in the regular season since April of 2014.

Morgan Reed paced all Notre Dame batters with two hits in the win over Jacksonville, while Abby Sweet scored a pair of runs. Cait Brooks joined Bonamy and Wester in the RBI column against the Dolphins.

Katie Beriont (5-4) threw five innings of four-hit softball, surrendering a lone run and adding two strikeouts. Alexis Holloway notched her second save in as many appearances by throwing two shutout innings to finish the game.

How The Irish Fared In Florida

Notre Dame emerged from its spring break swing through Florida with a 3-0 record, sweeping North Florida in a Tuesday doubleheader by 4-0 and 3-1 scores before downing Jacksonville 3-1 on Wednesday. Along with limiting the opposition to a mere two runs, the Irish also out-hit their foes by a combined 24-15 count, and held the edge in the RBI column by a 10-1 margin.

Ali Wester paced the Irish with a .600 (6-for-10) batting average for the week, leading all Notre Dame hitters with three RBI while scoring a pair of runs. Abby Sweet chipped in four hits and scored three runs, while Melissa Rochford scored in each of the four times she officially reached base.

In the circle, Alexis Holloway logged a spotless ERA with a 1-0 record, surrendering a mere four hits over 11 innings pitched (.114 batting average against). Holloway struck out 14 batters on her way to two saves during the midweek swing. Katie Beriont won both of her starts on the week, logging a 0.70 ERA in two games in Jacksonville.

Irish On A Roll

Dating back to a 7-1 win over St. John’s to close the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, California, Notre Dame has claimed 10 of its last 11 starts overall. The Irish were 6-0 in all neutral games during that span, adding a 4-1 mark in games played on campus.

Over the past 11 games, Notre Dame is batting .367 as a team and outscoring the opposition by an aggregate 76-19 run count. Notre Dame has also dominated the hit column to the tune of a 109-41 advantage, including a 21-12 edge in extra-base hits, and a 21-6 lead in stolen bases.

Ali Wester has paced the Irish in that span with a .556 batting average and 20 hits, while Abby Sweet is batting .457 with a home run and seven RBI, along with a team-high 12 runs scored, seven stolen bases and a .629 slugging percentage. Cait Brooks has recorded 11 RBI to lead Notre Dame in the past 11 starts.

The Irish pitching staff has been equally impressive, posting a 1.03 team ERA during the past 11 games. Notre Dame pitchers have struck out 60 batters in the past 68 innings of work, limiting opponents to a mere .172 batting average. Alexis Holloway, not far removed from her first career no-hitter at NC State last weekend, is 7-0 with an 0.33 ERA in her last 10 appearances (six starts), spinning three solo and one combined shutout, a miniscule .106 batting average against and 47 strikeouts in 43 innings. Katie Beriont is 3-1 with a 1.24 ERA in her past 22.2 innings in the circle.

Holloway Hurls 1st No-Hitter

Freshman pitcher Alexis Holloway notched the 44th overall no-hitter, and the 37th solo outing, in program history by shutting out NC State in game one on March 10.

The five baserunners that reached for the Wolfpack in the contest were all by way of walk, with Holloway adding five strikeouts. No NC State base runner advanced past second base during the game, and only four of 22 batters managed to hit the ball out of the infield in the contest. She then entered in relief in game two and spun another 1.1 innings of no-hit softball with two strikeouts, not allowing the ball to leave the infield during the outing.

Holloway is the first Notre Dame freshman to throw a no-hitter since Laura Winter shut out South Florida 1-0 on April 27, 2011. The last four Irish no-hitters have been thrown in ACC play (Holloway; Katie Beriont on April 8, 2017 against North Carolina; Rachel Nasland on March 15, 2015 at No. 9/10 Florida State; Winter, perfect game, on April 18, 2014 at Virginia).

Irish Against the Opposition

Notre Dame enters this weekend’s series at Louisville a combined 18-16 against the Cardinals all-time in a series that has spanned both the BIG EAST Conference and the ACC. The Irish have not dropped a series to Louisville since the 2007 season, and have won seven of the last 10 games with the Cardinals overall dating back to 2013.


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.