CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The University of Notre Dame softball team faced Virginia in a rain-shortened contest Friday at The Park in Charlottesville, with the Cavaliers leading 6-4 with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Irish (26-15, 9-6 ACC) and Cavaliers (17-25, 5-13 ACC) were slated to play a doubleheader Friday, but storms in the region caused a two-and-a-half hour delay of game one with only a 90-minute respite before the rain resumed. An unfavorable forecast caused officials to halt the game, which is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. ET Saturday. The remaining two games of the series will follow.
Melissa Rochford led the Irish with two hits and three RBI while Alexis Holloway chipped in an RBI double.
Top 1 | The Irish chased Virginia starter Erika Osherow after three batters when Ali Wester reached on an infield single and Katie Marino and Cait Brooks walked on eight straight pitches. With the bases loaded for reliever Allyson Frei, Melissa Rochford drove a line drive up the middle, scoring Wester and Marino to give the Irish a 2-0 lead with no outs. Frei loaded the bases again with a walk to MK Bonamy, but escaped the inning with three strikeouts to limit the Irish damage.
Bottom 1 | The Cavaliers made up the deficit quickly in the bottom of the first, as Hayley Busby homered to start the inning, followed by a double from Lacy Smith. Osherow — who moved to right field — gave Virginia a 3-2 lead with the second home run of the inning. Irish starter Payton Tidd got the Irish out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to end the inning.
Top 3 | The Irish used small ball to pull even with the Cavaliers in the third. After Abby Sweet walked to start the frame, she advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt by MK Bonamy and a groundout by Chelsea Purcell. Alexis Holloway, who entered to pitch for the Irish in the second inning, lifted a fly into right center and was credited with the RBI double to tie the game when the soggy conditions caused Osherow to trip in pursuit of the ball.
Top 4 | Katie Marino walked to open the inning in the fourth, moving to second on Cait Brooks’ flyout to right. Rochford next picked up her third RBI of the afternoon on a suicide squeeze, giving the Irish a 4-3 lead.
Bottom 4 | Busby notched her second home run of the game, a three-run shot to left center to put Virginia back on top. The game was halted with two outs in the inning, however, as rain resumed with accompanying lightning.
The Irish and Virginia will resume play a 9 a.m. ET Saturday, completing the final three innings of Friday’s game followed by the remaining two games of the series.