May 20, 2016
by Tony Jones
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – An improbable seventh inning rally that featured a game-winning RBI 9-3 putout from right field lifted Miami (Ohio) to a 3-2 upset of the University of Notre Dame softball team on Friday in the opening game of the NCAA Ann Arbor Regional at Alumni Field.
Notre Dame (41-12) will compete in the tournament’s first elimination game on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. (ET) at Alumni Field.
Allie Rhodes was in command early against Miami (35-21) in the top of the first inning. Michaela Schlattman fouled out to Micaela Arizmendi at first base, Eryn McCarver lined out to Kimmy Sullivan at third base and Johniann Wahl struck out swinging to leave Taylor Shuey stranded at first base after a two-out walk.
After Rhodes opened the top of the second with a strikeout looking of Kaitlyn Gliha, Hailey Reed picked up the game’s first hit with a single up the middle. Notre Dame ended the Miami half by turning a 1-6-4-3 double play to end the RedHawk half.
Morgan Reed picked up the first Notre Dame hit of the game in the bottom of the second inning, lacing a two-out single to left field off Miami starter Amber Logemann (24-12). A fly out to left field kept Reed stranded on first base at the end of the Irish ups.
Rhodes kept her momentum on the mound rolling in the top of the third frame. Rylee Whispel struck out swinging, Kat Lee grounded out to second base and Schlattman grounded out to third base to end the quick 1-2-3 frame for the Irish starter.
The Notre Dame offense broke through against Logemann in the bottom of the third inning. Megan Sorlie led off by smoking a single into right field, advancing into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Bailey Bigler. Karley Wester legged out an infield single to third base and took second cleanly on a steal to set up Ali Wester, whose artfully timed two-run single to the right center field gap cleared the bases for the 2-0 Irish advantage.
Miami looked to get its offense cooking in the top of the fourth after McCarver legged out an infield single to third base. Rhodes struck Shuey out swinging before flying Wahl out to a diving Sorlie in right field. A heads-up throw by Sorlie caught McCarver in a rundown, where Arizmendi ended the inning with a tag for the double play.
Miami finally tied the game in the top of the fifth when pinch hitter Hannah Girlie connected on a two-run double to right center field, bringing home Tanya Busby and Chloe Melanson to square the game at 2-2. Rachel Nasland (15-4) entered and notched consecutive outs to leave two RedHawk runners on the pond.
The RedHawks won the game in the top of the seventh after Lauren Anderson led off the inning with a double. A sacrifice bunt moved pinch runner Jenna Jones to third base, where an unlikely RBI 9-3 off the bat of Lee scored the go-ahead run at 3-2.
Karley Wester reached on a two-out error in the bottom of the seventh inning before taking second base cleanly on a steal. Ali Wester appeared to leg out an infield single that pulled the runner at first base off one batter later, but Miami first baseman Wahl was ruled to have remained on and caught the throw in time.
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 and men’s soccer 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 at Monroe and with the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills.