NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame (26-14, 9-6 ACC) split two games of a Saturday doubleheader against NC State (23-20, 4-11 ACC) to claim a series win over the Wolfpack, taking two of the three games over the weekend. The Irish have now won all three home ACC series this season.
Notre Dame dropped the opening game of the day by a final of 9-4 before bouncing back with an impressive 12-3 win in five innings in game number two.
Senior Cait Brooks had a career day at the plate between the two games, going 5-for-6 with three home runs and two doubles, while driving in five and scoring five runs. Brooks had an astronomical slugging percentage of 2.667 on the afternoon.
The other standout performer in the batter’s box was sophomore Abby Sweet, who didn’t record an out all day. Sweet finished 4-for-4 with two RBI, two runs, a stolen base and added a walk and two hit-by-pitches.
Freshman pitcher Payton Tidd recorded her second win of the weekend to improve to 17-6 on the season. Tidd worked five innings while allowing three runs on five hits and struck out six.
The career day from Brooks continues with her 2nd HR of the game and 3rd of the day!
— Notre Dame Softball (@NDsoftball) April 13, 2019
Game One Key Innings
Bottom 1 | After the Wolfpack jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first, courtesy of a three-run homer from Randi Farricker, the Irish got a run back in the bottom of the frame to cut the lead to two at 3-1. Melissa Rochford continued her strong start to the series with an RBI single to center to score Wester from second.
Bottom 3 | The Wolfpack extended their lead in the top of the third after pushing a run across the plate to make it 4-1. Notre Dame then responded with a run of its own in the bottom half of the frame. Brooks doubled to right center and Shelby Grimm came in to pinch run. Two batters later Abby Sweet singled to center to drive in Grimm and make it a two-run game at 4-2.
Bottom 5 | The Irish cut the lead to one at 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth. For the second straight time Brooks led off the inning with a double and Sweet picked up an RBI off a single to close the gap to just one.
Top 6 | Unfortunately for the Irish one run is as close as they would get in the first game of the doubleheader. NC State plated three runs in the top of the sixth to extend its lead to 7-3.
Bottom 7 | Trailing by six, the Irish were unable to make a rally in the seventh. However, Brooks capped off an impressive first game performance with her first of three home runs on the day to score Notre Dame’s fourth run of the game.
Game Two Key Innings
Bottom 1 | The Irish wasted no time getting on the board in the second game of the twin bill, as Brooks continued her tear at the plate with a two-run home run to put Notre Dame on top 2-0.
Bottom 3 | NC State managed to score three runs in the second frame but the Irish responded with four runs in the bottom of the third to retake a lead at 6-3. After Katie Marino reached on an error, Cait Brooks punished a pitch, sending it over the fence in center for her second home run of the game and third in as many at bats going back to game one of the day. The Irish added two more runs in the inning off a wild pitch and a single from Emma Clark to make it a three-run game.
Bottom 4 | Tidd tossed a scoreless top of the fourth and then Notre Dame broke the game wide open in the bottom of the frame. The Irish used small ball and plate discipline to do all of their damage in the fourth, scoring six runs off four singles, three walks and an error. Rochford, MK Bonamy, Chelsea Purcell, Tidd and Clark drove in the runs for the Irish to put the game out of reach.
The Irish hit the road for a midweek game against Purdue in West Lafayette at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, April 16.