Irish Top No. 18 Duke 5-3 in Series Opener

DURHAM, North Carolina — RV Notre Dame (3-2) pulled off the series-opener upset of No. 18 Duke Saturday night with a 5-3 win in Durham. Senior pitcher Alexis Holloway (2-1) earned the win, while junior pitcher Payton Tidd, the starter, entered in relief in the seventh to get the save. 

Freshman Karina Gaskins, junior Emma Clark and graduate student Chelsea Purcell all posted two hits, as Holloway was responsible for two RBI, and Purcell, senior Sarah Genz and sophomore Leea Hanks all noted one RBI on the night. 

In addition, freshman Cassidy Grimm saw her first collegiate game action in the contest. 

Notre Dame is now 3-1 all-time with the Blue Devils.


After a scoreless first inning, the Irish again failed to touch home plate in the second. With two runners on base, a series of Irish throws, attempting to catch runners off base, resulted in a throwing error and two Duke runs to put the Blue Devils up 0-2. Sweet and Hanks snagged outfield balls to end the inning and limit the damage. 

To start the third, Tidd stepped to the plate and fired a double to the outfield. After a Brooke Marquez groundout advanced her to second, Tidd got home on a Purcell RBI single to decrease the deficit to 1-2. Sweet took a HBP to get on base, and both Sweet and Purcell advanced on a wild pitch, but a Katie Marino strikeout ended the inning. 

Tidd delivered two strikeouts in the third to keep Duke from scoring, and in the fourth, Clark led the Irish off with a triple. Genz delivered an RBI single to score Sweet, evening the score at 2-2. After a Tidd strikeout and freshman Cassidy Grimm, who pinch-ran for Genz, was caught stealing, the Irish returned to the field and again kept Duke from scoring. 

Purcell and Sweet both reached base in the fifth, but were left on base at the end of the inning. After the Irish downed two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Holloway entered to pitch, and caught Duke stealing to end the inning. 

Gaskins led off the sixth with a double, and Clark singled to advance Gaskins to third. Clark then stole second, her seventh stolen base of the season. After a Genz groundout, Holloway doubled to score both Gaskins and Clark, giving the Irish the 4-2 lead. Holloway then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Junior Quinn Biggio struck out, and Purcell then took a HBP to advance to first. Hanks stepped up to the plate and fired a single to score Holloway, increasing the lead to 5-2. 

The Irish put Duke away in order in the sixth, and returned to the batter’s box to also be retired three up, three down. 

In the bottom of the seventh, Notre Dame earned the first two outs, before a series of four walks gave Duke another run. Tidd re-entered, and the subsequent lineout to Hanks ended the game, giving the Irish the 5-3 win. 


Notre Dame and Duke will return to the field for a double header on Sunday, Feb. 21, beginning at 10 a.m. ET. Broadcast coverage will be available on ACC Network Extra.