NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame softball team exploded for 10 runs in the second inning and never looked back en route to a 16-0 victory over Georgia Tech Friday afternoon at Melissa Cook Stadium.
It was the seventh straight win for the Irish (33-15, 16-6 ACC), who remain one game behind Florida State (46-8, 17-5) in the Atlantic Division standings heading into the final two days of the regular season.
Ali Wester, Katie Marino, Cait Brooks, Abby Sweet and Quinn Biggio all drove in at least two runs. Six different Irish players had at least two hits and all nine starters scored.
Brooks went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a three-run home run. The blast was his ACC-leading 19th of the season and 47th of her career. Brooks trails only Christine Lux and Dani Miller on the all-time Notre Dame home run list. Lux and Miller had 50 and 48, respectively.
Notre Dame’s 16 runs equal its season-high total set earlier this year against Utah Valley (March 1). The 16-run victory was the largest for the Irish since an identical 16-0 rout of Cal State Fullerton on March 14, 2012. The 16 runs by Notre Dame nearly broke its Melissa Cook Stadium record of 17 — set against North Carolina on April 26, 2015 (also in five innings).
Payton Tidd picked up her 23rd victory of the season, the third-best mark in the conference and best among freshmen. The rookie struck out four, walked one and yielded two hits in 4.0 innings of work.
Bottom 1 | The Irish waisted little time and grabbed a 4-0 lead. After the first three Notre Dame batters reached base, Melissa Rochford delivered an RBI fielder’s choice, Sweet reached on an RBI bunt single, Biggio added a sacrifice fly and Sweet scored on a wild pitch.
Bottom 2 | Notre Dame sent 15 batters to the dish and 10 would ultimately come around to score. The Irish used three straight doubles from Sweet, MK Bonamy and Biggio to push the lead to 8-0. Emma Clark added a RBI single and Wester followed with a two-run base hit. After a Marino walk, Brooks capped the 10-run explosion with a three-run bomb to center field.
Bottom 3 | Biggio led off the inning with a single. Clark followed with a one-out base hit and both came around to score on Marino’s two-run double that extended the Notre Dame lead to 16-0.
The Irish are back in action at 2 p.m. ET Saturday with the second game of the Georgia Tech series at Melissa Cook Stadium. The game will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra via the WatchESPN app or WatchESPN.com.