March 15, 2015
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A rough end to her outing on Saturday night against Florida State did not have any lingering impact on University of Notre Dame softball sophomore Rachel Nasland. In fact, Nasland’s response was nothing…in the hit column for the No. 9/10 Seminoles on Sunday.
The Irish right-hander threw the 35th solo no-hitter (42nd overall) in program history to power Notre Dame to a 12-0 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) win over Florida State in five innings at JoAnne Graf Field.
No. RV Notre Dame (15-11, 1-5 ACC) earned its third top 10 victory of the 2015 season with the win, salvaging the third game of its first league series ever at Florida State (22-6, 5-1 ACC). The Irish scored six runs in the third, four runs in the fourth, and added a single run in the first and fifth innings on nine hits.
“I’m really proud of the girls, the way that they didn’t stop fighting even after a tough day yesterday,” Notre Dame head coach Deanna Gumpf said. “The girls really came back and fought today and had a great presence.”
Senior co-captain and two-time All-American Emilee Koerner jump started the Notre Dame bats in the top of the first inning, lining a one-out triple down the right field line off Florida State starter Jessica Burroughs (8-3). Fellow senior Katey Haus made the extra base knock stick, driving Koerner in on an RBI ground out to third base to give the Irish a 1-0 lead.
“We’ve been thinking about putting Emi in the two-hole because of her power, and it really paid off today,” Gumpf said. “It was great to see Emi have one of her best days of the year, and I really thought she and the top half of the order really worked well together. They could depend on each other to make fire happen.”
Nasland (7-6) came out firing in the circle for Notre Dame during the bottom of the first frame. Jessica Warren hit a deep fly out to Koerner in center, Ellie Cooper flew out to sophomore All-American Karley Wester in left and Nasland struck out All-American Maddie O’Brien on three pitches to end the Florida State inning.
“I think it was huge for our team all around because we came out (fast) hitting and defensively,” Nasland said. “Playing strong right off the bat made a statement that boosted our confidence throughout the game.”
Nasland kept the momentum rolling in the home half of the second, striking out Alex Powers swinging and fouling Bailey Schinella out to Haus at third base for a quick two outs. Victoria East worked a four-pitch walk, but Nasland closed the Florida State ups by inducing an Alex Kossoff ground out to second base.
The Irish opened up the floodgates in the top of the third inning. After Wester reached on a fielder’s choice and moved into scoring position by way of a stolen base. Koerner cashed in the RBI chance with a seeing-eye single to right, driving Wester home to make it 2-0 Notre Dame. Haus reached safely on an attempted sacrifice bunt thanks to a Florida State fielding error, sliding Koerner to second base. Junior All-American Micaela Arizmendi followed with an RBI double to left field, bringing Koerner around for a 3-0 advantage.
“The sooner you can get to Burroughs the better because she has such great movement, you have to get her early,” Gumpf said. “She’s a tough pitcher if she gets ahead in the count.”
While attempting to intentionally walk senior Cassidy Whidden later in the third, Burroughs hurled a wild pitch to the backstop that allowed Haus to score from third (4-0). After Whidden finally was walked, freshman Morgan Reed made the Seminoles pay with two on, crushing a three-run home run deep and gone to right field. Reed’s first career jack completed a six-run Irish half, and gave Notre Dame a 7-0 cushion.
“Morgan is growing up really quick, and she’s determined to get the job done,” Gumpf said. “That’s what I am seeing from her every day she is out there.”
Nasland kept the Florida State order in check once more in the bottom of the third inning. Morgan Klaevemann struck out swinging, Amy Szymanowski grounded out to third base and Warren flew out to right field to bookend the 1-2-3 Seminole ups.
“Rachel knew that she was just a few pitches away from having a great outing yesterday in the first game against FSU, how close she was,” Gumpf said. “She knew what she had to do to get the hitters to play her ballgame. The few pitches that were away yesterday, she had them today and kept them off balance.”
Notre Dame kept pouring the offense on in the top of the fourth inning. A Florida State illegal pitch and throwing error, an RBI single from Reed and a sacrifice fly from freshman Bailey Bigler against Seminoles reliever Bailey Schinella extended the Irish lead to 11-0.
After Koerner picked up a leadoff double and Haus added a single to center field in the top of the fifth inning, Whidden tacked on a sacrifice fly to right that pushed the Notre Dame advantage ahead to 12-0.
Koerner led the Notre Dame offense with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, adding an RBI single while scoring three times. Reed finished with two hits and a career-high four RBI.
Nasland completed the no-hit bid in the bottom of the fifth inning, forcing two fly ball outs before striking Klaevemann out swinging to end the game.
“We had an aggressive approach to every batter and wanted to attack every batter,” Nasland said. “We wanted to be smart with some of their bigger hitters that did have key hits yesterday, still go ahead right at them but be smart about what we would let them swing at.”
Nasland yielded only a pair of walks to Florida State during the no-hitter, striking out four batters on 61 pitches. A total of 38 of Nasland’s 61 pitches found the strike zone.
“It means a lot (to throw a no-hitter against FSU), I’m very happy right now,” Nasland said. “There is no other way to describe it. I hope that I can continue doing the same for my team.”
Notre Dame is scheduled to host its first game of the 2015 season on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. (ET), welcoming Cleveland State to Melissa Cook Stadium for a midweek nonconference tilt.
“There is no better feeling than to go home and play at Melissa Cook Stadium, our home stadium, in front of our home crowd,” Gumpf said. “We just can’t wait to get started.”
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.
— Tony Jones, Media Relations Assistant