March 16, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – It was the tale of two weeks for University of Notre Dame softball sophomore Rachel Nasland during the recent Irish road trip over the institutional Spring Break interlude in the academic calendar.
In the face of adversity after dropping a pair of decisions at North Carolina State to open the conference play on March 7-8, Nasland answered the challenge and pitched valiantly in all three of her appearances over the ensuing seven days.
The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) took note of Nasland’s efforts, awarding the San Diego, California native with her second ACC Pitcher of the Week citation of the 2015 season on Monday. She was previously named the top conference pitcher on February 24.
Nasland continued her steady output in battling back from injury, posting a 2-1 record for Notre Dame last week that included wins over Campbell and No. 9/10 Florida State. Over 18.2 innings pitched, Nasland limited opponents to 10 hits (a cumulative .154 batting average against), walked six and struck out 18 batters. She ended the surge by throwing her first career collegiate no-hitter, and the 35th solo (42nd total) no-hitter in Irish history, in a 12-0 rout in five innings on Sunday against Florida State.
In fact, Nasland retired 30 of the final 35 batters she faced during the three-game series with the prolific hitting Seminoles this past weekend in the marquee ACC series.
“(Sunday) was about us making the adjustments more so than Florida State,” Nasland said after completing the no-hit bid. “Saturday we had them where we wanted them and it kind of slipped away, whereas (Sunday) we just kept attacking. We played our best softball and we went with what our best was, instead of trying to work around Florida State.”
Nasland scattered five hits in a complete game effort at Campbell on March 10, walking two and striking out a career-high 11 Camel batters over seven innings. Nasland then retired 14 consecutive Florida State hitters in Saturday’s first game, and ultimately sat down 15 of the final 18 Seminoles that she faced in a five-hit complete game.
Only two batters reached by way of a walk in Sunday’s series finale as Nasland struck out four Seminole batters, forced seven fly ball outs and grounded out four Florida State hitters to secure Notre Dame’s first no-hitter against a top 10 opponent. It was Notre Dame’s third win over a top 10 opponent this season, and the team’s most lopsided victory ever against a top 10 foe.
“We have such a young pitching staff that we might take our lumps, but it’s really what you do with it,” Notre Dame head coach Deanna Gumpf said following Sunday’s series finale at Florida State. “We knew there were going to be tough games (early in the season), and we have proven that we can beat anybody. I really liked the way Rachel responded this weekend.”
Notre Dame officially opens its 2015 home schedule on Wednesday, hosting Cleveland State at 4:30 p.m. (ET) at Melissa Cook Stadium. A live video stream will be available for the contest via WatchND.
For the latest news and updates on all things Notre Dame softball, visit www.und.com/softball, follow the Irish@NDsoftball and@NDcoachGumpf on Twitter and at Instagram.com/notredamesoftball, and Like the team at Facebook.com/NDSoftball.
2015 Notre Dame Softball Weekly Honorees
Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Week
Katey Haus – Feb. 9
— Tony Jones, Media Relations Assistant